The breakdown of a marriage can be devastating and confusing. It can seem like the process is unbearably lengthy. A spouse may want to move on with their lives as soon as possible and forgo important disagreements. However, many factors can affect how long it might take to dissolve a marriage in Connecticut. It is common to be overwhelmed by the details involved with the process and frustrated by the time it takes to obtain a final order. Contact one of our experienced divorce attorneys to learn how to shorten the length of divorce in Stamford.
The complexity of the spouses’ assets and disputes are one of the main drivers of how long a divorce in Stamford may take. Connecticut has a 90-day waiting period for divorces. This time can be shortened in some circumstances. New rules allow a non-adversarial or simplified divorce to be processed and finalized within 35 days. Those rules also allow the couple to avoid appearing in court, the scheduling of which can also create delays. But a simplified divorce is only available in certain circumstances, such as when:
Couples that do not meet these requirements but have entered into a written agreement resolving all outstanding issues in their divorce, can request that the court waive the waiting period. Some requirements may cause delays—for example, parents with minor children must attend statutorily required parenting classes. New rules allow these uncontested divorces to be finalized without needing to physically appear in court, which may expedite the entry of the final orders since the parties will not be dependent on the court’s schedule.
Any disputes over spousal support, custody, or property distribution will make the process longer. Divorces that may have disputes are considered contested. These disputes may require appearing in court, and thereby require both parties to engage in litigation. The number and types of conflicts, the busyness of the court’s schedule, and the preparation for litigation can all delay the length of divorce proceedings in Stamford.
The two disputes that take the most time involve custody and property distribution. Custody disputes that require the appointment of a guardian ad litem—someone to speak for the child’s best interests—require more court time and, therefore, take longer than undisputed custody concerns with partial parenting agreements. Property distribution in cases with complex assets—like multiple homes, assets that cannot be identified or are allegedly hidden, or assets that require court hearings about their value (sometimes called an accounting)—will also lengthen the divorce process.
States have rules that govern the details of dissolving a marriage. To obtain a legal dissolution of a marriage, the court must have jurisdiction over the parties. That means some aspect of the marriage must involve the state. For a final order, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of Connecticut for at least 12 months at the time of the final order. Courts may find an alternate basis for jurisdiction if the cause for the divorce arose after moving to the state, or if a spouse was a previous resident and can show an intent to resume residency.
Many spouses want a fast track to a final divorce order and get frustrated at the obstacles involved and the overall length of divorce in Stamford. Sometimes, they make decisions in the interest of time that do not serve them well in the long term.
If you need help finding the right path for dissolving your marriage, we can help. Our attorneys can help you balance the need for expediency with advocating for your rights. Call today to speak with a qualified legal professional at our firm.