Divorce, child custody, father’s rights, and child support are some of the most common Connecticut family law matters. Getting educated is the first step and we have tons of information to help you do so while also connecting you with the Connecticut family law assistance that you deserve! Start by gaining some knowledge on these potentially life changing issues by spending some time browsing our site. Then, let us connect you – for free – to a Connecticut family law lawyer or professional who can help guide you through your particular case.
Connecticut divorce statute, found here at Chapter 815j, Section 46b-40 here provides for two different kinds of divorces: a fault based and a no fault divorce. A Connecticut no-fault divorce requires a couple state that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be repaired. This means that neither party places blame, the couple simply states that the marriage is no longer working. The second way a person may have a no-fault divorce in Connecticut is if the couple has lived separate and apart for at least 18 months. Of course, there is always the option to file for a fault-based divorce. A fault based divorce means that the divorce is a result of one of the spouse’s committing adultery, intolerable cruelty or abandonment. Most people in Connecticut opt for a no-fault divorce as the expense and time involved is drastically reduced as there is no need to put on a trial with evidence and witnesses to prove grounds which, for the most part.
Residency Rules and Mandatory Waiting Period
In order to file for divorce in Connecticut, an individual must be a resident for at least 12 months prior to the filing of the divorce petition. From there, the court will enter a final divorce decree, but this requires a waiting period and will not take place any earlier than 90 days after the divorce petition is filed. Filing for divorce can be difficult especially when there are children, property or other assets involved. Dealing with the distribution of these things within that 90-day window is normally the fastest way to expedite the case.
Property Division During Connecticut Divorce
One of the common questions a Connecticut resident has when filing for divorce is what will happen to their property. Connecticut follows the rule of “equitable division of property.” This gives the court discretion to award one of the spouses a larger share of the property. The judge will take into consideration many factors such as age of the parties, who earned what, sources of future or past income of each spouse, disability, and what the future expected needs are of each spouse. The key to understand here is that an equitable division of property is not an equal division of property. This goes for retirement and investment accounts as well as personal property or real estate owned by the married couple. These rules dictate that the judge do what he or she believes is subjectively fair under the facts and circumstances of each particular case. A similar test of elements is uses when determining whether alimony should be granted or not. Earning capacity, length of the marriage and marital contributions are the most important factors here.
Connecticut Child Support
The determination of child support awards can become a difficult court process to handle on your own. In Connecticut, state law requires both parents to provide financial support for the children until they either complete high school or turn 19 years old, whichever occurs first. Special considerations can also be taken into account for a disabled child of the parties as well which may extend the child support deadline to age 21. Connecticut child support courts utilize specific state guidelines found here, while also taking into account additional factors such as each parent’s earning ability and the current financial needs of the child. For example, should something happen to the child, such as a sickness or injury, the court can modify child support to an amount higher than the normal guidelines because of the increased needs of the child. The court can also make payable an amount for medical insurance and out of pocket medical expenses on top of a child support award.
Connecticut Child Custody
Connecticut child custody cases are determined based on what is considered to be in the best interests of the child. This standard takes literally dozens of factors into account. The courts generally believe and work towards a belief that joint custody with both parents is in the best interests of the child. However, the Connecticut court system still has broad discretion to grant sole custody to one parent, or even a third party should there be abuse found within the parents’ home.
Child custody disputes can last for years and can take a toll on both parents and their children. If it is possible for parents to work out child custody arrangements without fighting it out in court, all parties will benefit. Child custody mediators or attorneys can assist in helping couples find common ground and help them do what is in their child’s best interest and put their disagreements aside for their kids.
Child custody disputes can take the form of either a divorce proceeding or a court proceeding with parents that are unmarried (known as paternity). Paternity cases oftentimes are more complicated as a legal determination needs to initially be made as to who the biological father is before either custody or support can be ordered. this may require genetic testing or testifying in court that you are the father and signing documents in front of the judge such as a Voluntary Paternity Establishment form. Factors that go into deciding custody or visitation include earning capacity of each parent, relationship between the parents, relationship with the minor child, the child’s adjustment to home, school, and their community, and who has been the primary caregiver since birth. Many other factors are critical in deciding custody as well, with one of the most important being any history of domestic abuse.
Connecticut Father’s Rights
Fathers face unique issues when attempting to exercise their parental rights in Connecticut family courts. Whether a father has had a child during marriage or outside of marriage, father’s rights in Connecticut require special attention. Father’s that want custody of their children or even just a fair visitation schedule need to prepare by showcasing their ability to provide as much if not more parenting time and skills with their children as mothers. While there is still some bias against fathers and toward mothers as being the primary caregiver of the children, these biases are eroding with the help of Connecticut father’s rights lawyers and advocates who work tirelessly to help give dad’s the same rights as mothers.
Being prepared is essential, and fathers must go above and beyond to prove they should be the primary caregiver. This means being responsible for bedtime, preparing meals, school functions, doctors appointments, and many other things. It also means avoiding common pitfalls that can derail your custody case.
Getting Started with the Connecticut Advice You Deserve!
Getting educated on your particular Connecticut family law case is just the first step to getting the family law rights you deserve. Because Connecticut family law matters encompass a broad range of legal issues from child custody, divorce, child support and annulments, it is important to not only learn the ropes on your own but to consult with a legal professional who can provide the right level of guidance necessary for the facts and circumstances of your particular case. The good news is that we can put you in touch – for free – to a local Connecticut family law expert who can help! Contact us right away to learn how!