Hartford Property Division Lawyer


Hartford Property Division Lawyer

When a married couple divorces, one household becomes two, with all of the logistical issues and longer-term financial adjustments that entails. The court has jurisdiction to divide all of the parties’ property in a way it believes is fair and equitable

What property can the court divide?

In practice, property owned by one spouse before the marriage, or property of the same value, is often allocated to that spouse. Generally, however, courts take an inclusive view of what constitutes marital property, guided by the principle that marriage is a shared enterprise like a partnership to which both spouses contribute, directly and indirectly, financially and non-financially, with the fruits of their respective contributions distributable at divorce.

Mandatory Factors in Property Distribution

In deciding how to divide the property, the court is required by statute to consider the length of the marriage, the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. The court is also required to consider the value of the respective contribution each spouse made to the acquisition of the property.

A divorcing couple can often agree on how to divide tangible personal property, such as furniture, cars and appliances, but it is important to pay attention that the division is in accordance with the overall distribution scheme. Some assets routinely require special attention.

The Former Marital Residence

It is of no consequence if title is held by only one spouse. The court can order the property to be transferred or divided to achieve a fair and equitable result, anyway. Although a sale of the residence is sometimes in order, consideration should be given to whether it is beneficial for children to stay in the same location without changing school districts. The former marital residence is often the parties’ major asset, and there are many ways to ensure that the spouse who will not continue to reside there receives a fair share of its equity.

For, example, the spouse who remains may transfer to the other spouse money, or an asset, of approximately equal value. Sometimes the spouse who stays in the home has the ability to refinance an existing mortgage to a higher amount, thereby cashing out the spouse who leaves.

Retirement Plans

Retirement plans are the other major asset that requires special attention in most divorce cases. There are many kinds of retirement plans, including traditional pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs, and their division in connection with a divorce can be complex. In some cases the court can order the transfer of qualified retirement funds with no or minimal tax consequences. Future payments from defined benefit plans can be divided so that each spouse receives a share, when the plan enters pay status.

In all cases, care must be taken to ensure that the court’s order is recognized and honored by the employer or the financial institution that will actually be transferring the asset. The division of some retirement assets (401(k)s, for example) can only be accomplished by the preparation of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) which is prepared after the entry of the divorce judgment, submitted to the court for approval, and then served on the plan administrator.

Contact Lawyer Edward P. Jurkiewicz Today

Hartford area bankruptcy attorney and divorce lawyer Edward P. Jurkiewicz has over 20 years of experience representing clients. Our firm represents debtors and creditors and handles both relatively simple divorces and bankruptcies and more complex litigation matters. With this depth of experience, our firm is able to anticipate and prepare for any potential issues that could arise in your bankruptcy, divorce or family matter.

CONTACT US TODAY AT 860-299-6263