Overview Of The Divorce Process
When discussing divorce in Connecticut, much attention is given to the major issues that need to be settled to dissolve a marriage, including child custody and support, property division and alimony. However, it is also highly important to understand the procedural aspects of divorce in our state. The law has requirements that divorcing couples must meet before their case can be finalized and strict procedures are followed by the courts.
What You Should Know
At least one spouse must have resided in Connecticut for one year before a divorce judgment is issued (note this is before the divorce is finalized, not initially filed). There are a few exceptions to this requirement, including whether you previously lived in Connecticut and recently moved back intending to stay permanently, or you moved to Connecticut and then the need for divorce arose.
One spouse must prepare and file a complaint that initiates the divorce case, which generally should be done with the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney. There are fees associated with filing, serving the other spouse and parent education programs if required by the court.
The court will order both spouses to not transfer, hide, withdraw or spend large amounts of money, to not relocate with children, to not sell or mortgage property, or to deny the other spouse access to the home – unless a spouse has been awarded exclusive access to the home by the court.
Negotiations And Court Hearings Require Experienced Representation
Most divorcing spouses have to wait at least 90 days before their first scheduled case management date. However, there are circumstances – including simplified divorces – that have a shorter waiting period.
If you and your spouse agree on all issues by your case management date, there is the possibility of finalizing your divorce at that time. If not, you will have time to engage in negotiations, mediation and other tactics to resolve your issues. Once you agree, you can schedule a hearing for the court to review your agreements and documents and, if approved, your divorce can be granted. If you cannot agree, your case will have to go to trial for the court to make decisions for you.
Grounds For Divorce
A Stamford divorce attorney can evaluate the grounds for divorce. For example, when the marriage has broken down irretrievably, that is grounds for a no-fault divorce. Another no-fault ground for divorce is if the spouses have lived separately for at least 18 months due to their incompatibility. Fault grounds for divorce include adultery, the willful desertion of one spouse toward the other for at least one year, intolerable cruelty, fraudulent contract, one spouse being imprisoned for a crime that carries a sentence of one year or more, or the confinement of one of the spouses in a mental institution for at least five years.
Divorces are usually classified as being contested or uncontested. A divorce that is contested involves two spouses who do not agree on the material terms of their divorce such as spousal support, child support, custody, visitation or the division of marital property. The court can rule on these matters. If the spouses do reach an agreement on material issues, their proposed agreement is submitted to the judge so that the terms can be added to the official divorce decree that the judge will sign.
Call Today To Discuss Your Options
If you would like to know more about the divorce process in Connecticut or you are interested in initiating proceedings, reach out to LAW OFFICES OF PIAZZA & SIMMONS, LLC by calling 203-936-6772. You can also fill out our contact form.