Stamford Divorce Requirements

Filing for a divorce in Connecticut requires adherence to the rules of procedure. If one of the two spouses meets the jurisdictional requirement, either party can commence proceedings in Connecticut family court. Once the case is filed, a waiting period goes into effect as well as a list of automatic court orders. An experienced divorce attorney at our firm can advise you during an initial meeting whether your case meets Stamford court’s divorce requirements.


Connecticut’s residency requirement is more lenient than that of many other states. A plaintiff can establish residency by living in the state for at least 12 months before filing for divorce. They can also show that the defendant lived in the state for that period. However, they may still qualify even if they cannot establish residency for the last year. If one of the parties lived in Connecticut at any time during the marriage and then returned to the state to stay there, they may be residents. Additionally, if the cause of the breakdown of the marriage occurred after one or both spouse’s established residency in Connecticut, they may also qualify to file for divorce.

A person who is uncertain whether they meet the residency requirements should consult with a local family law attorney. They can provide advice about whether they meet Stamford’s divorce requirements.

Fault and No-Fault Divorce

In Connecticut, people can seek either a fault or a no-fault divorce. For a no-fault divorce, the parties simply need to cite their marriage has broken down irretrievably.

In fault divorces, the complainant has to allege that the defendant is at fault. Some statutorily enumerated fault factors include cruelty, violence, desertion, addiction, insanity, confinement for mental illness, and some criminal convictions.

There are advantages and disadvantages to filing for either type of divorce. A capable family lawyer with experience handling divorces in Stamford can help a person assess which type of filing would be better for them.


While the law does not require people to have money to file for divorce, financial security is a de facto requirement. In Connecticut, a person must pay a filing fee when filing for a divorce, and then pay a marshal to service the paperwork on their spouse. Fortunately, Connecticut does have a provision for people who are indigent. They can submit an application for a fee waiver to the court, which a judge will review and determine if the financial standards have been satisfied. The waiver of fees refers to the court’s fees, not fees to either party’s attorney.

Connecticut also allows people to file for uncontested divorces. In those scenarios, people may be able to handle their divorce independently. However, even if someone is considering a DIY divorce, they may want to meet with a knowledgeable Stamford divorce attorney to discuss requirements.

Waiting Periods

A waiting period differs from a separation. The waiting period is the time between filing for the divorce and the court finalizing a divorce. Connecticut has two mandatory waiting periods. In a non-adversarial divorce, where both parties file a joint petition, the waiting period is 30 days. However, not everyone qualifies for this type of divorce, even if they are amicable. The marriage must be nine years or shorter. Plus, the couple cannot have any children.

For other divorces, Connecticut has a 90-day waiting period. After 90 days, the court will set a hearing and finalize a divorce. The waiting period begins on the return date that is on the initial filing. Suppose the defendant does not enter an appearance and the parties have a settlement agreement. In that case, the court may waive the waiting period; however, they will still require a 30-day waiting period. Where both spouses are appearing and have an agreement, they can waive all waiting periods and obtain an immediate dissolution.

Consult a Stamford Lawyer About Local Divorce Requirements

A petition for divorce can be dismissed if the procedural requirements have not been satisfied. So, if you are uncertain about anything, consult a local family lawyer at our firm. We can advise whether you meet the requirements and discuss your divorce options. Schedule a consultation today.

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