How non-martial property can become marital property in divorce

When people marry each other in Connecticut, they begin to share a life together. The life they share is unique to them. The number of children they may have together, how they parent their children, the jobs that they have, the amount of income they earn, the property they buy or acquire and many other factors will shape the marriage and their life. These same factors will also shape their divorce if the marriage does not end up working out for the couple.

During a divorce the couple will need to separate the life they shared together. This means that if they have children they will need to determine child custody, parenting time and child support. Couples will also have to divide their property. During the marriage, couples can acquire many different types of assets throughout a marriage such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, homes and other real property, vehicles and other assets.

However, people also can come into the marriage with various property. In a divorce this property could be considered separate property and their spouse would not be entitled to any portion of the property, but this is only if the person keeps the property separate. If they comingle separate property with marital property, what was separate could become marital property. This can occur in a number of different ways, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Putting marital income or money into an account with separate property
  • Using non-marital assets to open a joint account
  • Using marital assets to improve the value of separate property during the marriage
  • Businesses owned prior to the marriage increasing in value due to contributions of the spouse
  • Using separate assets to pay marital debt

The easiest way people can keep separate property separate throughout a marriage is to keep it in a separate account and not to touch it. However, if they are using separate property during a marriage it is very important that people can trace where the separate property went during the marriage to try a preserve its status as separate property.

It is not an easy process in Connecticut to separate a shared life into two separate lives. However, this is what needs to be done during a divorce. Just like the marriages are unique the divorces are unique as well and the outcomes will depend on the unique circumstances of the marriage. There are many complicated issues that will need to be resolved and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.