Some issues that arise in Connecticut Divorce Cases

If you are considering filing for divorce in Connecticut, there are some basic issues to consider aside from the question how best to proceed. Here are some basic issues you should be aware of to prepare for a meeting with an attorney.  This is not a comprehensive list of all issues that arise, but represents some of the more common questions asked.
Residency
  • One of the the couple must be a resident for at least 12 months for the court to grant a divorce.  However, the divorce case can be initiated during that 12 months if one of the couple moves to Connecticut to live here indefinitely. After 12 months of residency the court can then grant the divorce

Grounds

  • Connecticut is a no-fault state.  Only one of the couple needs to file and claim irreconcilable differences.  The other spouse has no legal means to stop or block a divorce proceeding.  This does not mean that the traditional grounds have no bearing on a case, but that the court does not need to have something like adultery or intolerable cruelty to grant a divorce.

Alimony

  •  The court may grant alimony to either spouse.  There are a number of factors that bear on the amount and you should consult with an experienced attorney if you are considering asking for alimony in the final dissolution.
  • If the court does not award alimony in the final judgment, neither spouse can return to court in the future and request alimony due to a change in circumstance. A divorce judgment in Connecticut can include $1 a year in alimony to allow a spouse to revisit alimony in the future.
  • The final decision regarding amount and duration of an alimony award is at the discretion of the court. Generally, the court may consider the length of the marriage, the age, health, income, education, and needs of each party.

Distribution of Property

  • Connecticut requires “equitable distribution” of property. This means that all property of the couple may be subject to distribution. When dividing property, the court may consider the length of the marriage, the cause for the breakdown of the marriage , the age, health, occupation, and employability of each party, the needs of each of the parties, and the contribution of each of the couple to the property.

Children

  • Connecticut believes that it is in the best interest of children to have both parents involved in a positive, caring, nurturing manner.  While the parents have decided to divorce, this does not mean that the children should suffer as a result.  Before the final decision in a divorce case, both parents are required to participate in a parenting class and provide a copy of the signed completion to the court.  If parents cannot work out an agreement themselves for visitation and support, the court may enter orders for the parents with the assistance of a Guardian Ad Litem.