Marriage is a legal relationship. If you want to end a marriage, you must get court approval. The legal process requires filing papers with the court requesting a divorce.

The procedures for filing for divorce in Southbury vary depending on multiple factors. Consult a skilled divorce attorney to ensure your divorce proceeds as smoothly as circumstances permit.

Basic Requirements to File for Divorce

A Connecticut court cannot dissolve a marriage without jurisdiction. There are several ways to establish that a court has jurisdiction over their divorce. Regardless of how a court gains jurisdiction over a divorce, a judge cannot issue a final divorce decree until one of the spouses has lived in the state for at least 12 months.

If one of the spouses has lived in their permanent residence in the state for at least 183 of the preceding 365 days, the couple can file for divorce. A local court also has jurisdiction when a spouse lived in Connecticut when they married, moved away, and then returned, intending to live here permanently.

A court needs a legal basis to grant a divorce. Many couples cite irreconcilable differences as their reason for divorcing. Separation for at least 18 months is also valid, and the law offers multiple fault-based grounds. Anyone considering citing a fault-based ground for divorce should first consult a Southbury attorney.

Some Couples Qualify for a Non-Adversarial Divorce

While divorce can lead to fighting and discomfort, it does not have to. Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-44a allows a couple to make a joint filing for a non-adversarial divorce. They could have a divorce decree within four to six weeks and would not have to appear in court.

This process is open only to couples who agree their marriage is permanently broken, have no children together, are not pregnant, have been married less than nine years, and own no real property. Additionally, neither spouse can have a pension plan, and each spouse’s property must be valued at $80,000 or less. A Southbury lawyer can explain the requirements for filing for this type of divorce to determine if they apply in your case.

A qualifying couple must file a joint petition seeking dissolution of their marriage, which must be notarized and affirm all requirements for an uncontested divorce are met. They must also submit financial disclosures, and an agreement for how the couple intends to divide their property.

Other Methods of Filing for Divorce

Most couples do not qualify for a non-adversarial divorce. These couples have several options.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is for couples who want to work out their issues without limited court interference. In this interdisciplinary process, each spouse must have their own collaboratively trained lawyer, a neutral divorce coach, and a neutral financial professional. All participants must agree to resolve the divorce out of court.

Once the couple agrees on all the relevant issues, they create a written property division agreement and parenting plan. The couple submits these documents to the court with their petition.

Uncontested Divorce

Also called a non-litigated divorce, this is for couples who agree on all issues relevant to the divorce—property division, alimony, and co-parenting. They must submit written agreements to the court with the divorce petition. The court may hold a hearing to ensure both parties understand their agreements, and if the judge is satisfied, they will enter a divorce decree.

Contested Divorce

When a spouse files for divorce before the couple has agreed on all the relevant issues, the couple has a contested or litigated divorce. One spouse must file a petition and supporting documents with the court. A Southbury attorney can prepare the necessary filing and arrange for it to be served on the other spouse.

The other spouse must submit an answer to the petition within 30 days. Both spouses must submit financial disclosures and then they begin negotiations. If they are able to resolve things before a trial, they can submit their agreements to the court for review. If the couple cannot agree, the court will hold a trial and a judge will decide the outstanding issues.

Consult a Southbury Attorney When Considering Filing for Divorce

Some filing requirements always apply, and others vary depending on the process you follow when pursuing divorce. It is important to choose the method that best suits your circumstances.

Consult a family law attorney when you consider filing for divorce in Southbury.  We can explain the processes and help you choose the one that will work best for you. Call us today to get started.

Connecticut Family Lawyer | CT Family Law | Dolan Family Attorneys N/a
220 Main Street Suite I Southbury CT 06488 (203) 806-9254