What Divorce Models Are Available to Me in Connecticut?
In the State of Connecticut, you may obtain a divorce using:
- the traditional litigation (court-based) model;
- child support: parental roles and resources
- collaborative divorce;
- divorce mediation; or
- legal annulment
These services are also provide for Same Sex Couples
Click on a frequently asked question about Connecticut Divorce Laws:
- What do the statues say about divorce?
- How long will it take for my divorce to become final?
- How much will my divorce cost?
- Other related issues to divorce in Connecticut
- Automatic Court Orders
- Definition of Legal Separation
What Do The Statutes Say About Divorce?
Divorce, known in Connecticut as a “dissolution of marriage,” is governed by Connecticut General Statutes 46b-40 through 46b-89. While there are many grounds on which you may file for divorce, Connecticut divorce laws also provides for “no-fault” divorce. That means that you do not have to prove that your spouse is at fault, only that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably” and there is no hope of getting back together. Under Connecticut Divorce Laws your spouse does not have to agree to divorce in order for you to file for a dissolution. Only one person has to claim that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down.”
How Long Will It Take For My Divorce To Become Final?
Under Connecticut divorce law, there is a ninety-day waiting period from the time you commence the divorce action until it becomes final. If your divorce is complicated (for example, you have property or custody issues to resolve), the time it will take to finalize your divorce may be longer than ninety days.
How Much Will My Divorce Cost?
The commencement of a divorce action requires that specific forms (including a Summons and Complaint, among others) be completed and served upon your spouse by a marshal. There are certain costs involved in filing for divorce, which include the fee for the marshal to serve the Summons and Complaint (approximately $60 or more), as well as the court’s filing fee. Waiver of service by marshal is possible if you engage in the collaborative divorce or divorce mediation models.
If you have minor children (under the age of 18), you are required to participate in a parenting education program. Under certain circumstances, Connecticut Divorce Laws allow you to motion the court to exempt you from such classes (for example, if your youngest child is nearly 18 at the time you file for divorce). If you fall below certain income requirements, the court may grant you a waiver of some or all of the fees if you complete the proper application.
Your attorney’s fees will vary, depending on the complexity of your particular case.
Other Issues Related to Connecticut Divorce Laws
If you have minor children (under the age of 18) born to the marriage, the Connecticut Court will address issues such as custody, visitation, child support and future educational support. Child Support is based upon recognized guidelines and is not determined arbitrarily. Please see our Child Support Guidelines page for more information on the topic of Child Support under Connecticut Divorce Law. Depending upon a variety of circumstances, the issue of alimony (spousal support) may also be addressed.
This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list of issues that may arise in your divorce action. Every set of circumstances has its own issues. Again, a consultation with a licensed Connecticut attorney may be helpful and is strongly advised.
Automatic Court Orders
Along with the Summons and Complaint, a Notice of Automatic Court Orders (form JD-FM-158) must be served upon the other party by a marshal. The following summarizes what each party can and cannot do while your divorce is pending. Failure to obey the Automatic Court Orders under Connecticut Divorce Laws, may be punishable by being held in Contempt of Court.
In all cases that involve a child, whether or not the parties are married or in a civil union:
- Neither party may permanently take the child(ren) from Connecticut without written agreement or a court order;
- If you move out of the family home, you must tell the other party in writing within 48 hours about your new address or a place where you can receive mail;
- If both parents of the child(ren) live apart, both parties must help the child(ren) continue usual contact with both parents in person, by telephone and in writing;
- Neither party may take the child(ren) off any existing medical, hospital, doctor, or dental insurance policy or let any such insurance policy end;
- Both parties must participate in a parenting education program within 60 days of the return date of the complaint or within 60 days from the filing of the Application for Custody or Visitation;
- None of these orders change or replace any court order that already exists.
In all cases that involve a marriage or civil union, whether or not there are children, NEITHER party may:
- Sell, exchange, take away, give away or dispose of any property without written agreement with the other party or a court order except in their usual business or for usual expenses for the home or for reasonable attorney’s fees for this case;
- Hide any property;
- Mortgage any property except in their usual business or for usual expenses for the house or for reasonable attorney’s fees for this case without written agreement or a court order;
- Have any asset or an asset that is owned by both parties become owned only by him or her without written agreement or a court order;
- Go into unreasonable debt by borrowing money or using credit cards or cash advances unreasonably;
- Take the other off any existing medical, hospital, doctor or dental insurance policy or let any such insurance coverage end;
- Change the terms or named beneficiaries of any existing insurance policy or let any existing insurance coverage end, including life, automobile, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance;
- Deny use of the family home to the other person without a court order, if you are living together on the date the court papers are delivered.
In all cases:
- Both parties must complete and give to each other sworn financial affidavits within 30 days of the return date;
- Both parties must attend a case management conference on the date given on page 1 of the form, unless you both agree on all issues and/or file a Case Management Agreement form depending on that court’s policy.
For more information, consult a Connecticut divorce lawyer at Gryk & Frolich LLC.
The following links are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. Use of this information is not intended to and does not form an attorney/client relationship.
- Getting Back To Your Maiden Name After Divorce
- Connecticut’s Post-Majority Educational Support
- Collaborative Divorce Professionals(Connecticut)
Legal Separation Definition
“A decree of legal separation shall have the effect of a decree dissolving marriage except that neither party shall be free to marry.” Conn. Gen. Stats. §46b‑67(b) (2011).
Conn. Gen. Stat. (2011). § 46b-65: “(a) If the parties to a decree of legal separation at any time resume marital relations and file their written declaration of resumption, signed, acknowledged and witnessed, with the clerk of the superior court for the judicial district in which the separation was decreed, the declaration shall be entered upon the docket, under the entries relating to the complaint, and the decree shall be vacated and the complaint shall be deemed dismissed. (b) If no declaration has been filed under subsection (a) of this section, then at any time after the entry of a decree of legal separation, either party may petition the superior court for the judicial district in which the decree was entered for a decree dissolving the marriage and the court shall enter the decree in the presence of the party seeking the dissolution.”
To go the Connecticut Judicial Law Libraries to read more on Legal Separation in Connecticut, click here
Disclaimer: The information presented here is only meant to offer a brief guide to alternative dispute resolution of divorce issues in Connecticut. It is not and should not be construed as legal advice and does not form an attorney/client relationship. Questions about your individual circumstances should be discussed with a licensed attorney. A Connecticut divorce attorney at Gryk & Frolich LLC is available to assist you in your legal matters.