You have a lot to think about when you believe your marriage is breaking down. Knowledge of the divorce process is one of the keys to making the right decision at the right time. A local divorce attorney can discuss your situation and provide advice about how best to meet your goals for your future.

Understanding Hartford divorce requirements before you initiate marriage dissolution proceedings can ensure all goes smoothly.

Residency Requirements for Divorce

A couple must meet the residency requirement to divorce in this state. According to Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-44, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least one year before a divorce can become final. When a couple married locally, moved away, and then moved back intending to remain, they can file for divorce even if neither of them has lived in Connecticut for a full year.

A couple can meet the residency requirement when their marriage broke down in Connecticut. It can be difficult to determine where a marriage failed, as this is often a process that occurs over time. However, when a specific event or set of circumstances ended the marriage and happened in Connecticut, a couple can seek a divorce here.

Special rules apply to military families and in other specific situations. A Hartford attorney can explain whether residency requirements might pose an issue for a divorce.

Establishing Grounds to Dissolve a Marriage

A couple seeking dissolution of their marriage must have grounds for divorce. A spouse can seek a divorce citing fault-based grounds, which requires them to prove the marital misconduct they cite. Commonly cited fault-based grounds include adultery, cruelty, and desertion, but several others could be appropriate, depending on the circumstances.

Either or both spouses can seek a divorce on no-fault grounds. A spouse can seek a no-fault divorce when the couple has been separated for at least 18 months immediately prior to the filing. A couple seeking a quicker process can request a divorce citing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Citing no-fault grounds eliminates the burden of proving the other spouse’s misconduct, preserving the couple’s privacy and often reducing the bitterness that proving fault can generate. Sometimes, there may be a good reason to pursue a fault-based divorce. A spouse considering divorce should discuss with a Hartford lawyer whether the requirements of a fault-based or no-fault filing are more likely to help them meet their specific goals.

Issues a Couple Must Settle Before a Divorce Can Be Final

A Connecticut couple dissolving their marriage must disentangle their financial relationship. Doing so involves dividing their property and, sometimes, arranging for ongoing spousal support. When the couple has minor children, they must make appropriate co-parenting arrangements and complete a mandatory course in co-parenting.

Should a couple settle these issues before filing for divorce, they can seek an uncontested divorce, which can be final within several weeks. When they cannot agree before filing, their divorce is contested. Courts encourage couples to try mediation or other forms of dispute resolution to reach a settlement during the divorce proceedings. If the couple cannot agree on one or more issues, the court will decide after a trial.

When spouses negotiate a divorce themselves, they retain the most control, and their settlement is most likely to be workable over the long term. A Hartford attorney can provide guidance and advice throughout the divorce process and review any resulting agreements to ensure they meet a spouse’s goals and conform to legal requirements.

Speak With a Hartford Attorney About Divorce Requirements

Divorce requires careful consideration. Part of the decision-making process must be ensuring you understand divorce requirements in Hartford. A local attorney can discuss your situation with you and explain your legal options. Call today to talk to a knowledgeable lawyer.

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