Connecticut Divorce Laws - What You Need to Know!
When you are divorcing, there are certain laws that are applied to each party that must be adhered to. These are outlined by the state government of Connecticut. Being cognizant of the entire law would be difficult, however if you keep in mind a few of the overriding rules and laws, you will be forearmed with knowledge that may well help you have a smoother divorce process.
You or your spouse must have been a resident of the state of Connecticut for at least 12 months before the end of the divorce proceeding. However there are extenuating circumstances and those are:
- One party lived in the state at the time of the marriage and has come back with the intention of staying for a long period of time, or permanently.
- The dissolution of the marriage occurred after one of the two people involved moved to Connecticut.
Connecticut is both a no-fault and an at-fault divorce state. Being no-fault, you only need to prove that you and your spouse have been officially separated for at least 18 months and that you both desire to divorce because of irreconcilable differences.
Getting an at-fault divorce in Connecticut is a little harder and must be done in front of a court of law by the plaintiff, or the person who is initially filing for divorce. The defendant, or the person who is being filed upon, is going to need to answer the filing with either a rebuttal or a request for an extension.
One of the reasons for getting a divorce that is at-fault is probably because there will likely be a nasty and contested child custody dispute. The other reason for an at-fault divorce is because there is property and asset division that may be contested and by proving that your spouse was at-fault you may get a bigger portion of the property. Finally, an alimony dispute may be a third reason for an at-fault divorce.
Connecticut is an “equitable property division” state. This means that anything you earn during the marriage is yours to keep, as well as any income your spouse earned. This must be provable and you may be asked to submit pay stubs, income tax forms and possible W-2s or W-9s. In any case, the more documentation you have the better you will be able to plead your case. If there is any property in your name alone or your spouse's name only, the property is yours; however, in a divorce, just because you own it doesn't mean that the judge can't divide it and allow your spouse to manage part or even sell it. It isn't always fair and equitable.
The state of Connecticut puts the best interests of the child before the wants and wishes of the parents, so the outcome may not be to your liking. The court wants the child to have contact with both parents after the divorce, and the judge may even rule that joint custody is the answer to the child custody issues that arise. Many times, the judge reads the documentation you present and may even call you in for questioning. He or she may also ask the child what he or she desires as well.
The question of child support is hotly debated in a divorce by both parents. The standard of living that the child is used to having is taken into consideration as well as the income generated by both parents. Both parents are required to support the child and the child should not be made to suffer because of the dissolution of the marriage. The court will take into consideration how much time each parent spends with the child. If one of the parents is able to make more income but does not take action to accomplish this, the court may demand that this be done.
Being forewarned is forearmed when it comes to divorcing. If you feel overwhelmed you may want to contact an attorney who can assist.