Connecticut couples who are seeking divorce can often be overwhelmed at the nuances of divorce law in the state. The following list of 7 key facts relating to Connecticut divorce can help parties navigate the laws particular to Connecticut while giving a general oversight of concerns present in divorce cases.
7 key facts about a Connecticut Divorce
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.
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.
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.