The dissolution of a marriage changes many things, including your finances and the time you spend with your children. Such high stakes make it essential to have the personal and proficient support of a Freed Marcroft family lawyer.
We are professionals with extensive experience understanding people’s goals for their divorce and life afterward. We help people through the divorce, setting them up for success. A Westport divorce lawyer can provide you with options, review your decisions with you, and strongly advocate for you in court when necessary.
Grounds for Divorce in Westport
The divorce court must have appropriate grounds—the reasons a couple seeks the dissolution of their marriage—to grant a divorce petition. Grounds for a divorce can be established in two ways: fault and no-fault.
In a fault-based divorce, you must convince the court that your spouse was why your marriage broke down. Some fault grounds include adultery, desertion for a year or more, intolerable cruelty, or when one spouse misrepresents themself by being deceitful or fraudulent when they entered the marriage. Fault-based divorces are extremely rare because most people’s main goal for divorce is ending the marriage, and fault-based divorces do not always result in the dissolution of a marriage. Instead, if the plaintiff fails to prove the fault, the spouses remain married. In addition, proving the fault typically requires a significant investment of time and money.
In a no-fault divorce, only one party must confirm to the court that the marriage is broken beyond repair. Because it’s sure to result in a dissolution of marriage, people more commonly pursue a no-fault divorce than a fault-based divorce. However, even in no-fault divorces, it’s sometimes possible that the court will consider fault when dividing property and determining alimony.
What Are the Divorce Requirements?
Residency requirements apply to every divorce in Connecticut. At least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least one year before the divorce court can grant a divorce decree. Alternative ways for the state to have jurisdiction are if the marriage broke down after one spouse moved to Connecticut; or if one spouse lived here when they first got married, moved away for a time, and then returned permanently at a later date. A Westport divorce lawyer can clarify whether you satisfy the residency requirement.
There’s also a waiting period after you file for divorce. The default rule is that the divorce court will not grant a petition until at least 90 days after filing. However, in some cases, the court will waive this 90-day waiting requirement – your Westport divorce attorney can explain the ins and outs to you.
We also handle international divorce cases that often require extra considerations.
Alternatives to Divorce Litigation
Some couples dissolve their marriage through alternative divorce approaches, moving on with their lives without the extensive conflicts, delays, and costs that sometimes come from protracted divorce court proceedings.
In mediation, the spouses sit down with a neutral third party—a mediator—who helps them come to a mutual agreement on all the relevant issues outside of a courtroom. Freed Marcroft assists meditation clients in two ways. First, we can serve both spouses as their impartial mediators rather than act as either spouse’s attorney. Alternatively, we can represent one spouse as their dedicated “review counsel.” While review counsel attorneys do not customarily attend the mediation sessions themselves, our Westport divorce lawyers can serve as counselors to you during mediation. For example, we can answer your questions before and after your sessions with your spouse and mediator, review the agreements you reach, and provide you with legal advice based on what you share,
In a collaborative divorce, both spouses come together with their collaborative team to find an outcome that’s workable for both. Unlike with mediation, each spouse has their individual lawyer present during collaborative sessions.
It’s important to note that couples with a high net worth have options for non-adversarial divorce, too. ADR options like mediation and collaborative divorce also work well in cases where there are complicated financials and significant property to divide.
Call a Westport Divorce Attorney for More Information
The decisions made in a divorce are critical, and you deserve to work with someone who knows what it takes to understand you and create a favorable outcome. Freed Marcroft can assist you whether you choose litigation, mediation, or collaborative divorce. Call a Westport divorce lawyer for a free consultation and to begin looking toward the future.