The information presented here is only meant to offer a brief guide to divorce law in Connecticut. It is not and should not be construed as legal advice and does not form an attorney/client relationship. Questions about your individual circumstances should be discussed with a licensed attorney. A Connecticut divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC is available to assist you in your legal matters.
In the State of Connecticut, you may obtain a divorce using 1) the traditional litigation (court-based) model, 2) collaborative divorce or 3) mediation.
Divorce, known in Connecticut
as a “dissolution of
marriage,” is governed by Connecticut General Statutes
46b-40 through 46b-89. While there
on which you may file for divorce,
Under Connecticut law, there is a ninety-day waiting period from the time you commence the divorce action until it becomes final. If your divorce is complicated (for example, you have property or custody issues to resolve), the time it will take to finalize your divorce may be longer than ninety days.
The commencement of a divorce action requires that specific forms (including a Summons and Complaint, among others) be completed and served upon your spouse by a marshal. There are certain costs involved in filing for divorce, which include the fee for the marshal to serve the Summons and Complaint (approximately $40-50 or more), as well as the court’s filing fee. If you have minor children (under the age of 18), you are required to participate in a parenting education program. Under certain circumstances, you may motion the court to exempt you from such classes (for example, if your youngest child is nearly 18 at the time you file for divorce). If you fall below certain income requirements, the court may grant you a waiver of some or all of the fees if you complete the proper application. Your attorney's fees will vary, depending on the complexity of your particular case.
If you have minor children (under the age of 18) born to the marriage, the Court will address issues such as custody, visitation, child support and future educational support. Child Support is based upon recognized guidelines and is not determined arbitrarily. Please see our Child Support page for more information on the topic of Child Support.
Depending upon a variety of circumstances, the issue of alimony (spousal support) may also be addressed.
This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list of issues that may arise in your divorce action. Every set of circumstances has its own issues. Again, a consultation with a licensed attorney may be helpful and is strongly advised.
Along with the Summons
and Complaint, a
of Automatic Court Orders (form JD-FM-158) must be served upon the other
party by a marshal. The following summarizes what each party can and
cannot do while your divorce is pending. Failure to obey the
Automatic Court Orders may be punishable by being held in
Along with the Summons and Complaint, a Notice of Automatic Court Orders (form JD-FM-158) must be served upon the other party by a marshal. The following summarizes what each party can and cannot do while your divorce is pending. Failure to obey the Automatic Court Orders may be punishable by being held in Contempt of Court.
Sell, mortgage or give away any property without written agreement or a court order;
|Go into unreasonable debt by borrowing money or using credit cards or cash advances;|
|Permanently take your children from Connecticut without written agreement or court order;|
|Take each other or your children off any existing medical, hospital, doctor or dental insurance policy or let any such insurance policy expire;|
|Change the terms or named beneficiaries of any existing insurance policy or let any existing insurance coverage expire. This includes life, automobile, homeowner's or renter's insurance;|
|Deny use of the family home to the other person without a court order, if you are living together on the date the divorce papers are served.|
|Complete and exchange sworn Financial Affidavits (form JD-FM-6) within 30 days of the return date. A Financial Affidavit is a special form on which you must disclose your wages and other sources of income, your assets, and your debts and expenses;|
|Participate in a parenting education class within 60 days of the return date;|
|Attend a Case Management Conference on the date specified on the Notice of Automatic Orders (which will be determined by the court clerk) unless you both agree on all issues and file a Case Management Agreement form with the court clerk on or before that date;|
|Tell the other person (or her/his attorney, if she/he is represented by one) in writing within 48 hours about your new address or a place where you can receive mail if you move out of the family home (if you share children under the age of 18);|
|Help any children you share to continue their usual contact with both parents in person, by telephone and in writing.|
If you object to the Automatic Court Orders or if you want them changed, you have the right to a hearing before a Judge within in a reasonable time, by filing a Motion to Modify these orders with the court clerk.
For more information, consult a Connecticut divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC.
◊Resources for Divorce Information
The following links are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. Use of this information is not intended to and does not form an attorney/client relationship. The Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC is not responsible for the content or accuracy of information on these websites.
Brochure: The Divorce Process in Connecticut: An Overview by Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC (2010 .pdf)
Collaborative Divorce Professionals (Connecticut)
and General Divorce Topics
Musings and General Divorce Topics from"Attorney O's Midnight Musings" Blog:
Conn. Gen. Stat. (2008).
§ 46b-65. Filing of declaration of resumption of marital relations; dissolution of marriage after legal separation decree when no declaration filed.
(a) If the parties to a decree of legal separation at any time resume marital relations and file their written declaration of resumption, signed, acknowledged and witnessed, with the clerk of the superior court for the judicial district in which the separation was decreed, the declaration shall be entered upon the docket, under the entries relating to the complaint, and the decree shall be vacated and the complaint shall be deemed dismissed.
(b) If no declaration has been filed under subsection (a) of this section, then at any time after the entry of a decree of legal separation, either party may petition the superior court for the judicial district in which the decree was entered for a decree dissolving the marriage and the court shall enter the decree in the presence of the party seeking the dissolution.
For more information, consult a Connecticut legal separation lawyer at the Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC.
First and foremost, a legal annulment is not a divorce or a legal separation. It is also not the same as a spiritual annulment such as one applied for in a religious context. Legal annulment is not a popular method of dissolving a marriage.
Under Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 46b-40(b):
"An annulment shall be granted if the marriage is void or voidable under the laws of this state or of the state in which the marriage was performed."
This means that the marriage is rendered void from the beginning, as opposed to a divorce that is only dissolved subsequently, after a valid marriage.
There are six grounds for filing an annulment:
* marriage of certain kindred
* marriage attempted to be celebrated or performed by someone unauthorized to do so
* marriage performed in Connecticut without a valid marriage license
* marriage of persons under conservatorship or guardianship
* marriage of minors
* conviction of an offense against chastity
The legal annulment process is similar to the divorce or legal separation process. However, Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 46b-67(b) provides that:
"A decree of annulment ... shall give the parties the status of unmarried persons and they may marry again... Neither the ninety-day period specified in this section nor the six-month period referred to in section 46b-53 shall apply in actions for annulment and the court may proceed on any cause of action for annulment in the manner generally applicable in civil actions."
According to the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research:
"Examples of marriages that are void are bigamous or incestuous marriages. Examples of grounds that would make a marriage viodable are fraud, physical or mental incapacity, and force or duress."
For more information on legal annulments, consult a Connecticut annulment lawyer at the Law Offices of Irene C. Olszewski, LLC.
Books For Further Information
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Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice. Use of this website and/or the information contained on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. All legal questions should be addressed to a licensed attorney.
East Hartford, Connecticut Divorce Lawyer
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