Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the divorce PROCESS IN CONNECTICUT?
- Under Connecticut law, there are three types of divorce processes:
- Nonadversarial divorce — Also called a simplified divorce, nonadversarial divorce allows eligible couples to bypass the 90-day waiting period and obtain a final divorce within days without even appearing before a judge. To qualify for this type of divorce, you must have been married for less than 10 years. You cannot have children or be expecting. You cannot have any real estate interests, and your total assets must be worth less than $80,000. You cannot have a defined pension plan or a pending bankruptcy. You cannot be receiving Title XIX nursing home/home-care benefits. You cannot have another divorce action pending, and you cannot have an order of protection issued between you. You must file a joint petition, which can include a settlement agreement, along with a financial affidavit and other court forms.
- Divorce with an agreement — This is a type of uncontested divorce that also allows you to waive the 90-day waiting period. You can obtain this type of divorce even if you have children and a substantial marital estate. However, parents of minor children must attend a parenting education program within 60 days of filing. One party initiates the proceedings by filing a divorce petition, along with numerous other court forms. However, the parties should lay the groundwork for their agreement prior to filing. Reaching an agreement takes a substantial commitment, hard work and cooperation. Parties can reach an agreement through traditional negotiation, mediation or the collaborative process.
- Divorce without an agreement — Couples who are unable to come to an agreement on all their ancillary issues — alimony, child custody, child support, and division of property — must present their outstanding issues to a judge. This type of contested divorce is necessary when parties have serious disagreements about how to divide their property or how to raise their children. Because the process requires a trial, it is more expensive and time consuming than uncontested divorce.
Although it is generally best to reach an agreement with your spouse about your divorce, it is unwise to accept a poor outcome simply to avoid conflict. When deciding how to proceed with your divorce, it’s important to get reliable advice from an experienced attorney who can understand your situation and help you reach your goals.