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Divorcing couples may need help with property division

When a Connecticut marriage dissolves, the division of property can be difficult. The couple and their representatives will look at everything from prenuptial agreements to property obtained during the marriage. While most items can be valuated for a final determination, this is difficult when working with investments and business interests that may have minimal value today but excellent potential for the future. These assets require special care and treatment.

One of the challenges is that it is hard to know if an asset will pay out or become a loss. Both parties will want to benefit from the payout while minimizing their own loss. This is nearly impossible to guarantee if possession is given to just one party in the divorce. In the past, courts have ordered the individual who retains the asset to make payments to the former spouse, but this does not account for high returns or losses. A better option may be for both parties to retain control of the asset and be named on the ownership documents. Any future information regarding the asset, including losses, profits and sales, will have to flow through both parties.

Another challenge with dividing the property and making final decisions is that both parties may not engage in full disclosure. They may try to hide assets by having family members use marital funds to buy large assets in their name. After the divorce, the assets will be returned to the divorcee without the ex-spouse's knowledge.

This serves to point out why a divorce attorney as well as a financial professional may be of particular help in dealing with property division issues. An individual may not be able to see where money is flowing or determine if funds are being hidden.

Source: Financial Planning, "Finding Hidden Assets: Digging Deep in HNW Divorce", Andrew Pavia, March 24, 2014

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