Connecticut Divorce Lawyer

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Divorce Lawyer in Connecticut - Dissolution of Marriage Attorney - Legal Representation for Divorce Cases - Experienced Divorce Attorney- Divorce Trial - Family Law - Family Court

Divorce Litigation

When looking for a Divorce Lawyer across Connecticut, it’s crucial to retain a skilled and experienced attorney. Divorce is a challenging, time-consuming, and very emotional process for all parties involved. At  McConnell Family Law, we guide you through every step of the process and will protect your rights, every step of the way.

  • We will help you understand decisions during the divorce process and how those decisions will affect your finances, taxes, and personal life.
  • We will guide you through each step and help you make difficult decisions on information rather than emotions.
  • If you’re a business owner, we explain how divorce impacts your business.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to better understand the things that are beginning to unfold. Family Law matters can be very stressful and emotional.

Divorce Mediation & Collaborative Divorce Attorneys

Divorce mediation allows both parties to identify, negotiate and resolve the issues raised by the decision to divorceThe mediator establishes firm ground rules and a comfortable environment so that emotionally charged issues can be objectively discussed. The mediator helps both spouses gather all necessary information and review it systematically. A mediator often helps formulate a more creative solution than the court could offer. When parenting agreements and financial distribution plans are made by the spouses themselves, there is a much better chance of meeting the needs of the entire family. Contact us today to learn how a mediation approach may be better suited to your family situation.

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Are you in need of professional legal help?

Don’t hesitate to contact McConnell Family Law. We have helped many people in the same situations that you may be in. We take every individual circumstance very seriously and promise to contact you very quickly. We understand that no two cases are the same. We have offices in Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield Counties as well as have the ability to schedule one on one consultations in our satellite offices.

Meet Our Team of Talented Attorneys

Our Team

Our team of talented attorneys is here for you. We offer service throughout Connecticut and have offices in Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield Counties. With years of experience and thousands of courtroom hours, we are uniquely qualified to help you with your legal needs.

Paul McConnell

Heidi De la Rosa

Frank Corazzelli

Matthew Crockett

Client Testimonials

Marc Atkinson
Marc Atkinson
April 20, 2023
McConnell Family Law Group was an excellent choice for me. Not only were they responsive and knowledgeable, but they went above and beyond to guarantee my case was handled with the utmost care. If you need a divorce mediation lawyer in Hartford, look no further than this team!
Martina Cravedi
Martina Cravedi
February 11, 2023
Words cannot express how thankful I am for Paul and his amazing team. The office staff were kind and professional and Paul responded to my inquiry almost immediately. He patiently walked me through a lot of information and quickly set a plan in place that was not only something I was comfortable with, but it also made sense for my situation. I am grateful for his knowledge and warmth during this difficult transition. I would highly recommend Paul and his firm! Thank you for everything!
Jessica Sanders
Jessica Sanders
February 9, 2023
I received a reference for Attorney Paul McConnell after dealing with a long drawn out custody case. Paul reached out to me in a timely manner and spoke to me about new strategies to explore, not only was he very knowledgeable but kind and compassionate at the same time. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for representation. As a veteran myself I have high regards for Paul for holding himself to such high standards of professionalism.
Brandy Spears
Brandy Spears
January 18, 2023
I contacted the McConnell firm for a family law matter. My phone call was handled professionally by the office and the attorney. This firm is very knowledgeable and helpful and I highly recommend them for all of your needs.
kristin lynch
kristin lynch
October 14, 2022
Excellent advice. I would recommend McConnell Family Law to anyone.
Duncan Ferguson
Duncan Ferguson
September 9, 2022
Terrific all around, very responsive and listened to my needs. Helped guide me thru this challenging time.
Mark Chesanek
Mark Chesanek
March 8, 2022
Excellent service, clearly addressed my concern and resolved the issue in a cost effective and timely manner. Highly recommend MFLG.
Eric Hedglin
Eric Hedglin
October 1, 2021
The McConnell Family Law Team (Paul, Donna, & Kathy) is one of the most professional, respected, and effective family law firms in the Hartford Area. I regret not hiring them from the onset of my custody my case. If you are looking for the real-deal, these are the people you want in your corner.
January 20, 2021
Paul is an exceptional, calm and thoughtful attorney. Highly recommended.

The McConnell Family Law Group is a team of skilled family law and divorce lawyers committed to securing the best possible outcome for your family law needs. Our ultimate goal is to help you successfully transition to the next stage of your life.

Why Us?

If you have any questions regarding our firm, we encourage you to give us a call. We will do everything possible to answer all of your questions to make sure we are the right fit for your case.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

― Harriet Beecher Stowe

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce and Family Law

We do not offer financing, but can point clients to lenders who do.

We do offer a Flat Fee Divorce option for “uncontested divorces” where both parties have decided and agreed upon how to divide their property.  We assist with the preparation and filing of required documents to streamline an otherwise difficult and confusing process.

In addition, we offer a low-cost alternative to other types of family law matters (e.g. custody disputes)  that we refer to as “Consulting.”  For further description, read more about low-cost divorce alternatives.  You can further discuss these options with an attorney during an initial consultation.

Sorry to give a lawyer answer, but: It depends.  For divorce matters, we tell “most” of our clients to plan on nine months.  A few cases are completed in as little as three months, while others sometimes last more than a year.

We cover the entire state of Connecticut. We have offices in Hartford, New Canaan, Greenwich, and New Haven and we also accept appointments in Stamford, Groton, and Shelton. Moreover, we frequently schedule consultations and appointments via Zoom when it is more practical for our clients.

The easiest thing would be to visit our practice areas page.

Built on a Foundation of Success

The most important criteria when searching for the right attorney and firm is typically experience and track record of success…We have both.

Combined Years of Experience
Years of Legal Experience
Actual Tried Cases
Family Law Cases
of Success
Positive Outcomes

Divorce Lawyer: Hartford, New Haven, New London & Fairfield Counties


Divorce Attorneys: Connecticut Family Law Firm

Play Video about Divore Lawyers Hartford, CT

When looking for a divorce lawyer, it’s essential to retain a skilled attorney. Divorce is a challenging and emotional process for people. At the  McConnell Family Law Firm, we guide you through the process and will protect your rights every step of the way.

  • A good divorce lawyer will help you understand decisions during the divorce process and how those decisions will affect your finances, taxes, and personal life. We take the time to explain everything and answer all of your questions and address any concerns.
  • We guide you through each step and help you make difficult decisions based on information rather than emotions.
  • If you have a will or trust, we review your documents and suggest actions to protect your assets.
  • If you’re a business owner, we explain how divorce impacts your business.
  • For child support or spousal support, our divorce attorneys have the necessary experience to negotiate terms that will be agreeable to you.
  • We are a full-service family law firm equipped to handle all of your family law needs, including divorce.

Sorry to give a lawyer answer, but: It depends. For divorce matters, we tell “most” of our clients to plan on nine months. A few cases are completed in as little as three months, while others sometimes last more than a year.

Making the decision to contemplate or begin divorce proceedings is a very difficult and emotional one. We always encourage the first step be having an initial consultation. Please see the video above as Attorney Paul McConnell discusses the initial consultation. We are also offering Zoom conferencing in light of current circumstances.

Connecticut is a “no-fault” divorce state.  That means that a spouse does not need to prove “grounds” to obtain a divorce. The court issues a judgment of divorce because the marriage has “irretrievably broken down.”

That said, the court can consider fault in determining the financial orders (alimony and assignment of property). The determination of fault makes a difference in the court’s award when the determining responsibility is substantial and contributes to the marriage breakdown and the loss of marital assets. It plays a much smaller role in today’s divorces than people realize.

In Connecticut, a court may order either of the parties to pay alimony to the other. In deciding the amount of alimony, the legislature has ruled that the court shall consider: the length of the marriage; the causes for the dissolution of marriage or legal separation; the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of each of the parties, and any property award which can be awarded to either husband or wife.

In addition, where a parent has been assigned custody of minor children, the court will examine the desirability of the custodial parent securing employment.

Connecticut is an equitable distribution state, which means that Courts are more focused on handling the division of finances and other issues fairly and equitably at the time of dissolution. The goal is to minimize disruption to the family.

A common misconception in divorce is that the marital assets should be divided equally, as in 50% to each partyAnother misconception is that only assets held in joint title by both spouses are subject to distribution. However, equitable distribution is much broader than strict percentages or title.

Connecticut courts may also give either the husband or wife any part of the estate of the other, including real property regardless of title. In making the property assignment, the same standards applied in alimony awards will be used, as will the chance of the husband and wife acquiring future capital assets and income. The contribution of each of the parties to the purchase, preservation, or appreciation in the value of their estates will be considered an integral part of any assignment of property.

Because circumstances may change, support and custody decisions and alimony are always modifiable unless otherwise specified. Property awards are not adjustable.

It is of paramount importance that binding legal documents are prepared with the assistance of experienced Counsel. We are ready and able to assist you.

At least one party must have been domiciled (established residency) continuously in Connecticut for 12 months before the date that the court issues the judgment. You may file for divorce without meeting the 12-month requirement as long as you complete it at the time of the divorce. There are other exceptions to this rule that you can discuss with our office if this is an issue.

The legal standard for custody issues in Connecticut is the “best interests of the child,” which means that the court will assess any parenting agreement, child support, and visitation based on what is in the best interests of the child. There are many factors a court will consider in determining what is in the child’s best interest.

The practical result of this standard is that the Courts favor joint legal custody with relatively equal visitation. It is the general belief that children benefit from having both parents involved in their upbringing. However, every case is different. There are situations where joint legal and physical custody is not in the best interests of the child. At McConnell Family Law, we analyze every case on an individual basis and advise what parenting arrangement would be in the best interests of the child under Connecticut law.

If there are children under 18 from the marriage, both parents must attend a parenting class within 60-days after the divorce is filed.

For more information regarding child custody issues in divorce, see our child custody page and blog post.

In addition to the Residency Requirement listed above. The legal action is started with a formal complaint. This is a document drawn by your attorney, which gives some of the facts of your marriage and the claim for relief. The claim for relief asks for such things as alimonychild custody, child support, a division of property, or Counsel fees.

The complaint is served by a marshal and contains a summons, which directs your spouse or his or her attorney to file a response with the court on a certain day (called the “return day”). The defendant spouse or his or her lawyer should file a form called an “appearance” so that all further information about the case can be mailed to him or her.

There is a 90-day waiting period after the return day before either party can have the marriage dissolved. However, divorce usually takes longer than 90 days.

While waiting for the 90-day period to end, you may ask for temporary orders of custody, support, visitation, or alimony or ask the court to resolve any other disagreements between the parties. It is also possible for you to seek Orders requiring the other to participate in reconciliation conferences. A divorce attorney from The McConnell Family Law Group can assist you in all of these essential matters.

At the end of the 90-day waiting period, depending on whether or not the action is contested, the case can either be assigned for trial as contested  or set for a hearing as uncontested.

If a case is uncontested, the court proceeding may last less than 15 minutes for the Judge to approve the parties’ agreement, provided the court finds it to be fair and equitable.

If the parties cannot agree about money or the children, the case becomes contested, and both parties will appear for trial before a judge or a referee. A referee is a retired state court judge to whom contested divorces are “referred” for trial.

For some marriages, there is the newly adopted non-adversarial divorce process. If you qualify for the non-adversarial divorce, the benefits are obtaining the divorce in less time than the minimum 3-month period and a more peaceful resolution. You may be eligible for the non-adversarial divorce if:

  • You have been married eight years or less
  • Neither spouse is pregnant
  • No children were born or adopted by you before or during the marriage
  • Neither of you has any interest or title in any real property
  • The total value of all property owned by both is less than $35,000
  • Neither of you has a defined benefit pension plan
  • Neither of you has a pending bankruptcy
  • Neither of you is applying for or receiving Medicaid benefits
  • There is no other pending action for dissolution of your marriage
  • There are no restraining or protective orders between you

Suppose you do not qualify for the non-adversarial divorce process but do have a complete agreement on all issues in the divorce. In that case, you may still waive the 90-day waiting period to expedite the dissolution.

For many, full representation by a lawyer is unaffordable. Here at McConnell Family Law Group, we offer alternative representation solutions to provide greater access to legal assistance. Different types of limited scope representation include:

  • legal advice concerning a legal problem or case
  • drafting pleadings or briefs for the client known as “ghostwriting.”
  • legal coaching on how to present evidence in court, cross-examine a witness, etc.

Additionally, Connecticut has adopted limited appearances as of January 1, 2016, where an attorney may file a limited appearance in some issues, including family law matters. An example of a limited appearance would be for an attorney to agree to represent a client on one specific motion or hearing but not the entire family law action. Limited appearances are best for post-judgment motions such as custody modification or contempt for violating a court order.

For more information about family law and divorce in Connecticut, see our Divorce FAQs.

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Hartford Divorce Lawyer and Family Law Office

Divorce, Mediation, Collaborative Divorce. High Net Worth Divorce, Military Divorce, Flat Fee Divorce & More

Navigating the complexities of divorce can be a daunting experience, especially when dealing with the unique intricacies of Connecticut’s divorce laws. For couples seeking to dissolve their marriage, understanding the legal landscape is crucial to achieving a favorable outcome.

In an effort to provide clarity and guidance, our team of Connecticut divorce lawyers at the McConnell Family Law Group have compiled a list of 7 key facts related to Connecticut divorce laws. These facts will help you understand the specific aspects of Connecticut’s legal framework, as well as address common concerns that arise in divorce cases.

7 key facts about a Connecticut Divorce

1. Connecticut is a no-fault state

In some states, divorcing couples need to show grounds for divorce. Connecticut, however, is a “no-fault” state; Connecticut couples can petition for divorce without the need to set forth the reasons for the divorce. One of the advantages of divorcing in a no-fault state is that it helps to protect the privacy of the individuals involved by not forcing couples to state their reason for divorce in a court document. Despite being a no-fault state, fault can still factor in when the courts consider matters relating to the divorce, such as alimony and the assignment of property.

 2. Connecticut’s residency requirement

Generally, in order to meet Connecticut’s residency requirement, at least one of the parties must be continuously domiciled in the state for 12 months before filing, or meet the 12-month deadline on the date of divorce.

3. Division of property in a Connecticut divorce

The state of Connecticut is an “all property equitable distribution state,” giving the court the power to distribute any and all property, regardless of how it was purchased or acquired, based on the consideration of several factors, to include:

  • How long the couple was married
  • The cause of the breakdown of the marriage
  • Age and health of the parties
  • Education, vocation, income, and earning capacity of the parties
  • Liabilities and needs of each spouse
  • The potential for future acquisition of money and other assets

4. Alimony in Connecticut

When a couple divorces in Connecticut, alimony is available to either party but is not guaranteed to be awarded to either. When alimony is being considered, there are four options for how the money is paid:

  • No award
  • $1.00 annually (this preserves the right to modify later if warranted by the circumstances)
  • Lump-sum payment
  • Periodic payment

In determining whether alimony is appropriate, the court again weighs the same factors as in the division of property.

5. Child custody

As in many other states, to determine custody Connecticut courts consider what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child. To determine the child’s best interests, the court will weigh a number of factors including the child’s preference and the cause of the divorce.

6. Child support

The amount of child support awarded is calculated according to the guidelines laid out in state law. In addition to the standard calculated amount of alimony, the spouse will also be required to provide for medical expenses, as well as child care expenses that are necessary because of employment. The court does have the power to deviate from the standard calculations in certain cases, such as when there is an extreme expense related to visitation or when the child has an above-average need for financial support.

7. Penalties

All court orders relating to the divorce are enforceable and, as such, carry penalties for non-compliance. A party who violates a court order can be found in contempt, resulting in the payment of the other party’s legal fees or even jail time in extreme situations.

7 Key Facts about Connecticut DivorceDetails
No-fault stateConnecticut is a no-fault state, which means that couples can file for divorce without stating the reasons for the divorce.
Residency requirementTo file for divorce in Connecticut, at least one party must be domiciled in the state for 12 continuous months before filing.
Division of propertyConnecticut is an all-property equitable distribution state. The court can distribute any and all property based on several factors.
AlimonyAlimony may be available, but it is not guaranteed. Four options for payment are available. The court will consider factors such as income, education, and earning capacity.
Child custodyConnecticut courts will consider the best interests of the child when determining custody. Factors such as the child’s preference and the cause of the divorce will be weighed.
Child supportChild support is calculated according to state guidelines. In certain cases, the court may deviate from the standard calculations.
PenaltiesCourt orders related to the divorce are enforceable, and non-compliance can result in penalties such as payment of legal fees or even jail time.

Connecticut Divorce Laws

In Connecticut, there are specific laws that both parties must follow during a divorce. While it can be difficult to comprehend the entire legal framework, understanding some essential regulations can help make the divorce process smoother.

To file for divorce in Connecticut, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 12 months before the end of the divorce proceedings. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if one spouse lived in Connecticut when the marriage took place and intended to stay for an extended period or permanently or if the marriage dissolved after one spouse relocated to Connecticut.

Connecticut recognizes both no-fault and at-fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, you only need to show that you and your spouse have officially separated for at least 18 months and want to divorce because of irreconcilable differences.

Obtaining an at-fault divorce in Connecticut is more challenging and requires the plaintiff, the person initiating the divorce, to present their case in court. The defendant, or the spouse being served, can respond with a rebuttal or request an extension.

At-fault divorces are typically sought when child custody disputes are likely to be contentious or when property and asset division may be contested. Proving your spouse’s fault could result in receiving a larger portion of the marital assets, and disagreements over alimony could also be a reason to pursue an at-fault divorce.

At McConnell Family Law Group, we understand that divorce is a difficult and stressful time for families, and we are committed to providing excellence in representation for Connecticut residents. For more information on how we can help, please contact us today.


Hartford Divorce Lawyers & Family Law

Hartford, New Britain, Middletown, and Rockville

Hartford, Connecticut state capitol

Hartford Divorce Attorneys

Connecticut is a “no-fault” divorce state.  What that means, is a spouse does not need to prove “grounds” to obtain a divorce. The Court issues a judgment of divorce because the marriage has “irretrievably broken down.”

Divorce Mediation in Connecticut

Mediation vs. Divorce

Divorce mediation allows both parties to identify, negotiate and resolve the issues raised by the decision to divorce. The mediator establishes ground rules so that emotionally charged issues can be discussed.

Our Skills & Expertise

When looking for a Hartford Divorce Lawyer, it’s crucial to retain a skilled attorney. Divorce is a challenging, time-consuming, and emotional process for all parties involved. At  McConnell Family Law, we guide you through every step of the process and will protect your rights, every step of the way.

We have offices in Hartford, New Haven, and New Canaan. Additionally, we can facilitate in-person meetings via appointment in Stamford, Greenwich, and Shelton.

50 + Years Experience
50 + Years Experience
Dedication to Clients

Hartford Superior Court

95 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106

Hartford Superior Court

Hartford Superior Court

95 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106

New Britain Courthouse

20 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051

New Britain Courthouse

New Britain Courthouse

20 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051

Middletown Courthouse

1 Court St, Middletown, CT 06457

Middletown, CT Superior Court

Middletown Courthouse

1 Court St, Middletown, CT 06457

Rockville Courthouse

20 Park St, Rockville, CT 06066

Rockville, Connecticut Courthouse

Rockville Courthouse

20 Park St, Rockville, CT 06066

Hartford Office

638 Prospect Ave. Hartford, CT 06105

  • Note: Saturday and Sunday are phone-in only as well as 5:00pm – 9:00pm Monday – Friday

We can represent you no matter what town you are from, but if your case requires multiple office visits then we recommend selecting our office with the closest proximity. The following non-comprehensive list of towns are probably best served from our Hartford office.

  • Hartford
  • East Hartford
  • West Hartford
  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Wethersfield
  • Newington
  • Rocky Hill
  • New Britain
  • Bloomfield
  • South Glastonbury
  • East Glastonbury
  • Manchester
  • Windsor
  • South Windsor
  • Berlin
  • East Berlin
  • Cromwell
  • Granby
  • Avon
  • More

Yes, we do. We also have offices in New Haven, New Canaan, Greenwich, Gorton. Additionally, we offer online Zoom meetings.

8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
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8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
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8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

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