A divorcing couple may encounter a lengthy process when they decide how to divide their property. Because Connecticut’s divorce laws require distributing assets fairly, spouses could run into problems determining who takes ownership.
If two spouses have trouble splitting their property by themselves, the court intervenes and does it for them. Connecticut’s equitable distribution laws allow judges to divide assets based on their interpretation of fairness.
A court’s division could slow down a divorce
What a judge deems equitable may differ from what one or both of the divorcing spouses feel is fair. A variety of factors, such as each spouse’s contribution to an asset’s purchase and ability to afford its maintenance, could influence a judge’s decision.
A spouse may contest a judge’s property division, but it could extend the divorce process. If this carries the potential for a spouse to miss work or take attention away from family members, mediation may offer greater flexibility.
Mediation allows time for negotiation
Couples finding it difficult to move forward in their decision-making during a divorce may wish to consider mediation. Spouses can then take their time and discuss how to divide assets and property fairly without the court’s involvement.
As noted by Harvard Law School, research revealed that couples choosing mediation usually reach more mutually agreeable outcomes than those opting for litigation. Agreements made through mediation generally include a greater degree of fairness and could accommodate each spouse’s individual needs.
Mediators act as facilitators or evaluators
Mediation focuses on each party coming to a workable agreement. When spouses have an amicable relationship, a mediator may act as a facilitator and assist in dividing their property according to law. Through open discussion, the mediator leads them through a process that may dissolve the marriage more smoothly.
If spouses do not know which assets they may take ownership of, a mediator may act as an evaluator. A one-by-one review of each asset can lead to a realistic assessment of its worth to each spouse. It may take several meetings to negotiate a fair settlement, but the time frame could fit both spouses’ schedules better. After reaching an agreement, a judge orders a final decree.