Lopiano v. Lopiano
In Lopiano v. Lopiano, 247 Conn. 356, 363-64, 752 A.2d 1000 (1998), the Court first considered whether, at the time of dissolution, a personal injury award is a property interest encompassed within the meaning of "property" under 46b-81.
The court began its analysis of 46b-81 and concluded that a personal injury award was marital property and, as such, could be properly distributed, provided the factors recited in 46b-81 were properly considered.
The Court determined that the term "property" as used in 46b-81 has a broad definition. It defined property "as the term commonly used to denote everything which is the subject of ownership, corporeal or incorporeal, tangible or intangible, visible or invisible, real or personal; everything that has an exchangeable value or which goes to make up wealth or estate. It extends to every species of valuable right and interest, and includes real and personal property, easements, franchises, and incorporeal hereditaments . . . ." Id., quoting Black's Law Dictionary (6th Ed. 1990).
"This broad definition of property however is not entirely without limitation, and . . . property under 46b-81 includes only interests that are presently existing, as opposed to mere expectancies." Lopiano v. Lopiano, 247 Conn. at 365-66.