divorce lawyer brookfield ct

How Is Property Divided After A Divorce?

Division of Property After Divorce

How will our property be divided?

One of the biggest challenges that many couples face during a divorce is the division of assets, or property. Deciding how to split up marital assets and debts is often a difficult issue in a divorce, especially when there are significant assets at stake. It is crucial that you have legal representation to protect your property rights.

Connecticut is not a community property state; meaning the law does not require that all of the property to be divided equally. Connecticut is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that the law requires the property be divided fairly and not equally.

What kinds of property is divided in a divorce?

There are two categories of property: “real property” and “personal property”.

Real property consists only of buildings and land which include:

  • The family residence
  • Cabins
  • Commercial lots
  • Acreage
  • Rental houses

Personal property is everything else, that isn’t land or a buildings; which includes:

  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Trusts
  • Collectibles
  • Business interests
  • Receivables
  • Profit sharing
  • Automobiles and boats
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Clothing
  • Household goods
  • Pension and retirement interests

 

Can I stop my spouse from selling our property?

Yes. As soon as the summons and complaint (the legal documents that initiate a divorce) are served, an automatic order goes into effect that prevents both spouses from selling, hiding, transferring, or giving away any joint property without a court order or the written consent of the other spouse. The only exception is if the transaction is in the usual course of business or if it’s for necessary and ordinary household expenses or reasonable attorney’s fees in relation to the divorce. This order is in effect until the divorce is finalized.

What about my retirement?

In general, pension and retirement benefits are not exempted from property division. They are assets subject to the judge’s decision.

Will the court divide our debts?

Yes, in addition to dividing assets, the judge will also divide the repayments of any debt fairly. When dividing debts, the judge can consider who was responsible for creating the debt. Debts that occur after the date of separation are usually, but not always, given to the spouse who incurred them.

If you are facing a divorce and need assistance with your property and asset division, contact Glouzgal Ramos Groth and speak with our family attorney, Krystal Ramos, who will review your case and help you receive a fair portion of your marital estate.

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Who will have Custody of the Child or Children After a Divorce?

Child Custody After Divorce

Who will have custody of the children?

Divorce affects different families in different ways. In any family where there are children, the issue of child custody is usually the most pressing. Therefore many of our initial consultations result in the client asking: “Who will get custody of the children?”

Parents can reach their own agreements about custody and visitation as long as it is fair to both parents and the children. If parents are not able to come into an agreement, then the custody decision will be made in court, usually by a family court judge.

Who gets custody of the children is decided primarily is based upon the best interests of the child involved.  The court’s main consideration is always the child’s “best interest”. The main factor in deciding which parent will have full custody, is which parent has been the child’s “primary caretaker.” If the children are old enough, the court will take their preference into account in making a decision.

The best interest factors include:

  • Each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment for the children
  • How the child is currently adjusted to their home and school environment
  • How long have the children been living in their current environment and how stable it is
  • Which parent is more available to be active in the children’s life
  • Any special needs the child may have
  • Whether either parent is more suited to understand and care for a special needs child
  • The child’s preference
  • Any interference in a parent and child’s relationship by the other parent;
  • Any misconduct by either parent during the custody dispute; and
  • Any history of domestic violence or child abuse.

Divorce, itself is already an emotional matter and with children it can complicate things even more.  It is best for parents to agree on the terms of custody to avoid any extra emotional trauma to the children.

 

How Do I File For Divorce? – Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Filing for Divorce in Connecticut

Divorce FAQ – How to file for divorce in CT

“How do I File for Divorce?” is a common question we get asked during our initial consultations for divorce clients. This is a very important question. In a divorce, just like any litigation, the most important steps are the first steps. Errors made when beginning a divorce proceeding could prove devastating at later stages, especially if the other party times it right. Individuals who attempt to represent themselves sometimes fall into this trap.

In Connecticut, there are two basic types of divorce: no-fault and fault divorce. While the basic documents are the same for both types of divorce, the contents will be different depending on which type you are filing for.

To begin a court proceeding to terminate a marriage, the spouse seeking the divorce (the “plaintiff”) has to file a “Complaint” in the Superior Court for the Judicial District where one of the spouses lives. In the Complaint, the Plaintiff has to state the reason for the divorce and information about any children from the marriage. The Plaintiff can also ask the Court to grant custody of children, award child support or alimony, divide marital property and debts, and restore a prior name.

Before the Complaint can be filed with the Court, it must be “served” against the other spouse (the “defendant”). The purpose of this is t give the Defendant spouse notice of the divorce proceeding. In Connecticut, service is typically made by a State Marshal. Along with the Complaint must be a “Summons” which tells the defendant about the divorce processing and when to come to court, the “Notice of Automatic Court Orders” which tells the defendant what they can and cannot do in regards to the Plaintiff, and an “Affidavit of Service” which the Marshal signs when service is made.

Any flaws in the service process or the documentation involved may lead to a successful “Motion to Dismiss” by the Defendant. They can wait until you’ve made your entire case and played all your cards, then end the proceeding on a technicality. Then the entire process must be started all over, the right way.

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How much will a divorce cost? – Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

 

Divorce Frequently Asked Questions #1

How Much Will A Divorce Cost?

Perhaps the most common question we get from our new divorce clients is: How much will my divorce cost?

What divorce clients need to understand is that every divorce is as unique as every marriage. As some marriages are more complicated than others, some divorces are more complicated than others.

The more complicated and intertwined the marriage and family circumstances, the longer it will be necessary to form a picture of the family lifestyle, and the longer the attorneys will have to spend in negotiating sessions. The more hours we as attorneys have to put into your case to give you diligent representation, the greater your attorneys fees will be, and the more the divorce will cost.

Some factors that may complicate the divorce process and drive up cost are:

  • does the couple own real estate?
  • does the couple jointly own a business?
  • does the couple have children? are the children still in the house?
  • does the couple own a lot of personal property that is important to both people?
  • does one person make all of the families income?

There are many more factors that can complicate a divorce, but those are the most common and will give you a good idea of how complicated your divorce will be if you have to split up the assets listed above.

The only way for us to give you a better idea of how much your divorce will cost is by having a consultation where we can look at your specific situation. Even then it will only be an estimate, and the estimate will only be as good as you thoroughness and honesty.

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Right to Foreclosure Mediation Extended to Divorcees and Surviving Spouses – Connecticut Public Act No. 15-124

Right to Foreclosure Mediation for Divorcees and Surviving Spouses

Connecticut Public Act 15-124 – An Act Extending The Foreclosure Mediation Program

One of the benefits of being in a multi-partner law firm is the overlap between our different practice areas, allowing us to better help our clients in difficult situations. Since our firm represents divorce clients, probate clients, and foreclosure clients, Connecticut Public Act no. 15-124 is going to allow us to help clients better solve their foreclosure issues when relating to residential real estate property that was part of divorce or probate proceedings.

The Problem Was Standing

Perhaps you are a divorcee. You just finished the long and stressful process of divorce. Part of the Court ordered Divorce Decree is that your ex-spouse execute a quitclaim deed transferring a house or condominium to your ownership. The deed is drafted and recorded on the land records and as far as you are concerned the property is now yours.

Perhaps your spouse recently passed away. You just finished the extremely complicated probate process. In their will your spouse left you residential real estate property. The Executor of your spouse’s estate drafted an Executor’s Deed, which was approved by the probate court and recorded on the land records, transferring title in the property to you.

In either case, let’s assume there was a mortgage on the property. Either your ex-spouse had not been making payments or the probate estate had not been making payments and the mortgage is in default. Or, even if the payments are current, the mortgage has a “due on transfer” clause, which states that if the property is ever transferred from the ownership of the borrower under the mortgage, the entire outstanding amount is due and payable in full. As is common, the collateral on the mortgage is the property itselfThe bank is now foreclosing on the property.

As the new owner, you want to enter foreclosure mediation so that you can find a way to keep your family home; through mortgage modification or refinance. Until October 1, 2015, YOU COULDN’T!

The issue was standing! Since you were not a party to the mortgage, you had no “privity of contract”, and therefore no standing to challenge the foreclosure in court. The foreclosure would proceed and the bank would be allowed to either repossess or sell your property to pay off the money owed to them.

The Connecticut Legislature Solves The Problem

The Connecticut Legislature saw the issue of removing spouses from the family home without letting them be heard when a court order had given them possession of the residential real estate property. After all, how is it fair to completely stonewall the new owner of the property from mediating a solution to the foreclosure?

Therefore, Public Act No. 15-142 has extended the foreclosure mediation process to include spouses who became “successors in interest” due to divorce, separation, or death of the other spouse.

What this means for our clients

The new law allows the divorcee or decedent’s spouse to stand in the shoes of the previous owner, at least as far as defending against foreclosure of the property is concerned. This means that we can now offer assistance to our foreclosure clients who became owners through divorce or death of their spouse. Previously, we would have had to turn these people away as there was no legal procedure available for us to resolve their problem. It is not guaranteed that the successor-in-interest spouse will be allowed to keep the property, but at least now they have a fighting chance.