WHERE IS THE LINE DRAWN ON THE ACCUMULATION OF MARITAL ASSETS?

Confusion is the only word that can be used for the current state of the law on the date that a court is to determine the value of the marital estate.  In general, the Court is to value property on the date of the divorce.  But, as a practical matter, this is often impossible, because valuations might be done months in advance of trial.  Financial records and reports are rarely acquired up to the very date of trial.  Moreover, some trials last over many months, thus making valuations which might have been up-to-date at the first day of trial, out-of-date on the last day of trial.

If this confusion is not enough, there are exceptions to the general rule.  The Court has carved out an exception when an order for separate maintenance has been entered. The Court has also recognized that a temporary support order may serve as a line of demarcation in determining whether property is marital or separate.

In the end, it appears that the matter is within the discretion of the trial court depending upon the circumstances.  What appears to be definite, is that a court must select a deadline for determining the value of marital assets.  Cuccia v. Cuccia, No. 2010–CT–00083–SCT (Decided June 28, 2012.)  But, again, this raises problems because no financial data, appraisals, bank account records, stock balances, etc., can ever be brought to the same date.  Practitioners and Judges just have to struggle along, knowing at least that if there is a temporary order entered, that may serve as a deadline for valuation of the marital estate.

1 comment

  1. Charles says:

    Valuations should be done in an efficient and fast manner right after divorce. Our courts often are late in valuations.

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