Whether it’s a mutual decision you made together or something that you independently want, getting a divorce gives you the opportunity to figure out what you truly want for the rest of your life.
Yes, divorce is legally complicated and personally challenging. You might already be in a situation where it’s difficult to communicate with your spouse. What you need to keep top of mind is that divorce itself is only one stage. When you get to the other side of it – and you will – you want to have thoughtfully designed the life you want to live.
Our West Hartford divorce lawyers have years of experience in helping people like you through divorce – even when it’s particularly tough or complex. From start to finish, your caring family attorney will advocate for you and help you figure out what’s the most favorable outcome for you based upon the future you want. Plus, it’s important to have someone on your side who will tell you the truth, even when that truth may be hard to swallow. The Freed Marcroft team will do that and more.
Legal Requirements for Divorce in West Hartford
Like all other states, Connecticut allows spouses to pursue “no-fault” divorces, which means they can petition a court to dissolve their marriage without having to prove either one was at fault for the marriage ending. The grounds for a Connecticut no-fault divorce are that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably.” In other words, everyone is entitled to get divorced in Connecticut, even if their spouse doesn’t agree.
Unlike some other states, though, Connecticut still allows couples to seek divorce on fault-based grounds such as:
- Deserting their spouse for one year or more
- Deception or fraud when entering the marriage
- Intolerable cruelty or adultery
No fault divorces are much more common than fault divorces. It’s expensive and time consuming to prove fault, and, if you fail, the result is that you remain married. For many people, actually being divorced at the end of their dissolution is most important. Plus, even in no-fault divorces, Connecticut courts may consider the causes for the breakdown of the marriage when determining property division and alimony, so fault can be relevant even in no-fault divorces.
Whether a divorce is no-fault or fault-based, Connecticut courts must have jurisdiction in order to grand your divorce. There are three main ways to establish jurisdiction in a no-fault divorce:
- At least one spouse must have resided in Connecticut for at least 12 months prior to the divorce becoming final
- One spouse must have lived in Connecticut when they got married, moved away, and then returned to Connecticut intending to live here permanently.
- The marriage broke down after one spouse moved to Connecticut.
Jurisdiction isn’t always straight forward, including when one spouse or the children live in a different state or internationally. In some cases, two states have jurisdiction over the divorce. In other cases, the court might have jurisdiction to grant the divorce, but not the authority to issue child support or custody orders.
A West Hartford divorce attorney can further explain if you meet Connecticut’s criteria to file for divorce.
How a Divorce Works
There are three primary ways for a West Hartford resident to divorce, and our team will carefully describe what’s involved with each one so that you can select your best option:
- Litigation (includes both high-conflict and low-conflict situations)
- Collaborative divorce
Depending on how you divorce, your divorce may start by filing papers with the court that are also served on your spouse. Or we may begin working to reach an agreements and your actual divorce will be filed further down the road.
No matter what, our attorneys will help you select the approach most in line with your goals. This could include making a plan for service and addressing how things will be handled while the divorce is pending, such as living arrangements and bill payment.
Contact a West Hartford Divorce Attorney for Help
Even if you keep your focus where it belongs – on your post-divorce life – getting divorced is tough. No matter how amicable you remain with your spouse, you owe it to yourself to have a knowledgeable guide to explain in advance what comes next. Knowing what to expect, and having a West Hartford divorce lawyer at Freed Marcroft give you their experienced advice as you make decisions can decrease stress, give you a leg up in divorce negotiations, and help you set up your new life. Let us know how we can assist you.