A divorce is a stressful process in the best of circumstances. Our firm understands the emotional toll a marriage breakdown takes on you, your spouse, and your children. As Stamford uncontested divorce lawyers, we help clients agree on the significant issues they must resolve with their spouse before legally divorcing—property division, child custody, and alimony. We will learn what is vital to you and develop agreements that protect your interests.
Recognizing that some compromise is inevitable, our divorce attorneys will work to ensure you and your children receive fair treatment in any settlement. With agreements in hand, you and your spouse can dissolve your marriage on your terms rather than handing the power to make life-changing decisions to a judge.
Divorcing couples with children must have a written agreement on child custody, visitation, and child support. Although courts give significant deference to the arrangements parents develop together, the law obliges judges to carefully review them to ensure they support the children’s best interests.
If the children spend relatively equal time living with each parent, the parents share joint physical custody. A parent with ultimate authority to make medical, educational, and religious decisions may have sole legal custody, or joint legal custody with final decision-making. Courts favor parents sharing legal custody unless shared legal custody is impossible or could pose a danger to a child.
A custody agreement must state whether the parents agree to share physical and legal custody. If just one parent assumes either sole physical or legal custody, an agreement should contain provisions indicating how the other parent can exercise parenting time, thereby supporting a relationship with their child.
Courts believe a relationship with both parents supports the children’s best interest, even if the children live most of the time with one parent. A parenting plan should include the parents’ agreement about how frequently a non-primary custodial parent may have parenting time with the children.
All agreements must include an arrangement for child support. Connecticut has a formula for calculating child support, but families may deviate from the formula if doing so supports the children’s best interests. Courts’ overriding concern is maintaining the children’s accustomed standard of living and precluding a parent of lower means from being disadvantaged due to not being able to offer the same lifestyle as the parent with greater financial means.
In general, courts look at the percentage of household income parents spent on the children when the family was living together. They then divide that amount proportionally between the parents based on each individual’s income. A higher-earning parent will pay support to a lower-earning parent where the parties share physical custody, or where the lower earning parent has primary physical custody. An uncontested divorce attorney in Stamford will advise their client regarding the minimum acceptable child support in their case and factors that could cause a judge to expect a higher payment.
Dividing property when a marriage is breaking down can trigger difficult emotions. A divorcing couple must decide on an equitable split of marital property and an alimony amount.
According to Connecticut General Statute §46b-81, marital property is all the assets either spouse owns when they divorce. A court will honor a valid prenuptial agreement designating property division or segregating certain assets to one spouse. Otherwise, a couple must agree on a division of marital property that is equitable under the circumstances. The law does not require a 50/50 split.
Spouses provide each other financial support and following a divorce there may be a continued obligation for one spouse to provide alimony or spousal support to the other. If one spouse is financially dependent on the other, a court may expect a divorce agreement to include a provision for alimony. A knowledgeable lawyer can discuss the factors that courts consider when awarding alimony to help a couple decide whether it is appropriate in their uncontested divorce.
Formalizing the breakdown of a marriage is never easy, but if a couple can agree on issues regarding their children and property division, the process can be less distressing and conclude more quickly. It is usually in everyone’s best interests to move on as soon as possible.
A Stamford uncontested divorce lawyer can help you understand the law regarding marital dissolution and ensure your agreements will survive a judge’s scrutiny. Make an appointment today to speak with a local legal professional.