Where does a divorce begin: with a scandal, adultery, or love fading? Nope. The dissolution of marriage starts precisely at the moment the court accepts the documents submitted by the petitioner. But before it happens, the couple must go through a series of procedures.
It is not always necessary for spouses to leave their homes to prepare divorce papers in Connecticut. Many online divorce companies can help to choose and fill out paperwork.
There are also traditional ways of preparing legal documents, such as with the help of a lawyer or selecting forms on the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch website.
The first option is suitable for those who have a contested divorce and need professional protection of their interests in the court. The second option is ideal for those opting for a do-it-yourself divorce to save money. A DIY divorce is suitable for couples seeking an uncontested divorce.
How to Get an Online Divorce in Connecticut?
Online divorce is the process of preparing divorce documents using the Internet. However, you can’t get a divorce online. Only a court in your state can make this decision.
Divorce over the Internet is a fast and inexpensive way to complete paperwork under the requirements of Connecticut Family Law following the specifics of the petitioner and respondent. Internet divorce is fitting for couples who have an uncontested divorce and fully agree with all the terms of the breakup.
To prepare an application for divorce online, spouses need to choose an online service that helps generate forms for dissolution in their state and go through a marriage and divorce-related questionnaire. Depending on the state and the case details, the number of questions can vary from 50 to 200 on average.
A web divorce is affordable and several times cheaper than paying a lawyer’s hourly services, reducing the cost of divorce. Generating the divorce papers usually takes no more than two business days. Completed divorce papers can be downloaded online in the user’s account and filed with the court.
To obtain a divorce, spouses will need the following primary forms:
- Summons Family Actions;
- Divorce Complaint / Cross Complaint;
- Notice of Automatic Orders; and
- Affidavit Concerning Children (if the couple has children).
How to Apply for Divorce in Connecticut?
When filing for divorce, spouses should first check whether they have complied with all the court requirements for getting a divorce.
To file for divorce in Connecticut, one or both partners must meet the state requirements for their place of residence. The spouse must have lived in the state for at least one year before filing for divorce.
Grounds for Divorce in Connecticut
When filling out the documents, the petitioner must indicate the official reason for the breakup. There is a list of legal grounds for divorce in Connecticut.
If spouses file for a no-fault divorce, they should point out that the marriage does not work because of irreconcilable differences. In this case, reconciliation is not possible now or in the future. Another reason for a no-fault divorce is separation for 18 months or more before filing for divorce.
In the case of fault divorce, one of the spouses needs to indicate and prove that the other spouse has committed marital misconduct. These include:
- Fraudulent contract;
- Willful desertion for one year with total neglect of duty;
- Intolerable cruelty;
- Absence for seven years without any contact;
- Habitual alcohol or drug addiction;
- Imprisonment of one spouse; and
- Spouse’s mental illness.
Many couples in Connecticut choose to do the dissolution without evidence of fault. It allows spouses to speed up the legal proceedings.
Divorce Terms in Connecticut
The spouses should agree on all the essential divorce terms before filing. It includes property division, child custody, alimony, etc.
Spouses can independently agree on the property division, such as assets, real estate, debts, cars, etc. If spouses need help resolving a dispute, they can contact an arbitrator or mediator.
If the case goes to court, the judge distributes the property according to the following factors:
- length of the marriage;
- the age of the spouses;
- the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage, or legal separation;
- the amount and sources of income;
- employability; and
- vocational skills.
Child custody depends on the best interests of the child and the following factors:
- the child’s needs and temperament;
- each parent’s ability to be actively involved in the child’s life;
- each parent’s willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and second parent;
- each parent’s ability to meet the needs of the child;
- the child’s relationship with each parent;
- the child’s cultural background;
- each parent’s physical and mental health;
- the parents’ wishes for sole or joint custody;
- the stability of each parent’s residence and child’s links to the community; and
- the child’s wishes.
Spousal support or alimony is paid to the other spouse temporarily or permanently to maintain the standard of living as it was before the divorce. The court does not always order spousal support.
A Connecticut court considers the following factors when determining alimony:
- the length of the marriage;
- age and health of spouses;
- both spouse’s income, vocational skills, occupation, and employability;
- the couple’s property division and marital estate in the divorce;
- each spouse’s need for support; and
- whether the spouse receives a child support award.
File for Divorce
The spouses need to submit documents to the local Superior Court Clerk’s office to start the divorce process. The petitioner should have three copies of the divorce papers. The originals remain with the court, and the clerk distributes the two copies between the spouses.
If the clerk accepts and stamps the papers, the next thing the petitioner should do is to pay filing fees and serve the second spouse (notify the partner about the beginning of the divorce and transfer the documents).
The petitioner can deliver the papers in person if the spouses are on good terms. The petitioner can also hire a sheriff or a specialized service to handle this issue.
The sooner the spouses prepare the divorce papers in Connecticut, the sooner the divorce proceedings will begin. Couples can do it even without an attorney. However, this does not guarantee that the spouses will get a quick divorce. After all, the waiting period and the court’s workload affect the time needed to get the final decree.
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