Because matters of domestic relations are left to each of the individual 50 states, divorce has developed in slightly different ways across the country. Some states have adopted a no-fault model of divorce only, meaning that a party cannot petition for divorce on the grounds of the other party’s fault, such as adultery. Traditionally, however, parties could only petition for divorce on grounds of fault, and in most states, such as Connecticut, you can petition under both theories.
Petitioning for Divorce in Connecticut
Connecticut permits both no-fault and fault divorces if the parties can articulate one or more of the following reasons for divorce:
- Marriage breakdown
- The parties have lived apart for 18 months
- Life sentence or commission of a serious crime by one party
There are some additional reasons a party can petition for divorce in Connecticut, but a no-fault divorce can be granted if the parties either claim a breakdown of marriage or have been living apart for a sufficient amount of time.
In special circumstances, a couple can petition for a divorce that takes only 35 days to finalize. To be eligible, you must meet at least the following criteria:
- Been married eight years or less
- No one is pregnant
- No children were born or adopted during the marriage
- No real property (e.g., home)
- Estate is less than $35,000
- There are no restraining or protective orders between the parties
A non-adversarial divorce is generally not available if there are children of the marriage, and obtaining a divorce in Connecticut with children is the longest and most difficult of divorce processes. You must fill out an affidavit concerning your children, and you will likely need to hire a family law attorney to work out a parenting plan, custody arrangements, and child support payments. If your spouse is not amicable to working with a mediator to come up with a parenting plan, your divorce can take time, and you may want to discuss with your attorney having a guardian ad litem or children’s attorney appointed to protect the best interest of the children.
Contact a Connecticut Family Law Attorney with Questions
If you are preparing to file for divorce and have questions regarding what type of divorce is best suited for you, contact the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant. We can assist you with petitioning for divorce and help work to protect the best interests of your children. Call our Stamford office at (203) 348-2465 or contact us online for a no-risk, confidential consultation.