Q&A on Divorce in Connecticut
If you are preparing to divorce, whether it is an amicable divorce or you are facing the prospect of contested litigation, you most likely have many questions about the situation. Will you have to spend time in court? Who will get the house? How can you minimize the impact on your relationship with your children?
For answers to all of your questions, come to Bauer Law Group, LLC. We help our clients navigate the complex and often stressful experience of divorce and we have an extensive track record of success. Here are some of the most common questions about divorce. When you come in for a consultation, we will take the time to listen to your story, answer your questions and help you choose a course of action for your case.
What are the grounds for divorce in Connecticut?
Connecticut is a "no fault" divorce state meaning that one only needs to state that their marriage is "broken down irretrievably" to dissolve their marriage. "No fault," however, does not mean that a court will not consider whether one spouse is the reason why the marriage broke down to begin with. On the contrary, the concept of fault is built into our law and judges are permitted to consider whether one spouse had a more significant role in breaking down the marriage.
What is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation in Connecticut?
The two terms are similar in nature but have one significant difference: the outcome. When a couple obtains a legal separation, the spouses are not free to remarry. A court decree of legal separation results in a division of property and debts and a parenting plan, just like a divorce does. The process of obtaining a legal separation is the same process as obtaining a divorce.
If a legally separated couple later wishes to divorce, the court will convert the separation to a divorce without a repeat of the divorce process so long as the parties had not resumed marital relations at any time following the legal separation. Whether you are dealing with divorce or a legal separation or are unsure as to which form of separation is right for you, it is important to seek legal counsel from an experienced family lawyer.
How can I prevent my spouse from depleting our assets once I file for divorce?
After a divorce is filed, an automatic order goes into effect. When the plaintiff signs the complaint and the defendant is served, the order prohibits both parties from actions upon property without the other spouse's consent, including:
- removing or in any way
- disposing of
This includes property that is held jointly or individually.
Can I receive child support or alimony while my divorce is pending in Connecticut?
Yes. The court may make temporary orders, or pendente lite orders, for the payment of child support and alimony. These orders may be modifiable during the divorce process by either party if the financial situations of the parties change resulting in substantial increases / decreases in the income of the parties, loss of employment, or other special circumstances are necessitating a change in the support or alimony orders.
How does divorce affect my health insurance?
Dealing with your health insurer is probably not at the top of your "to do" list if you're getting a divorce. Even so, issues of health insurance are important while you are going through a divorce and immediately following a divorce. Once a divorce is officially filed in Superior Court, automatic orders are entered which are designed to maintain the status quo until the parties are divorced or they are modified by court order. In that regard, one spouse cannot remove the other spouse from his or her health insurance absent court order.
Once a divorce is granted, however, the ex-spouse can remain eligible to participate on the other party's health insurance plan through the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). COBRA provides a vital bridge between health insurance plans for qualified workers, their spouses, and their dependent children when their health insurance might otherwise be cut off. When a spouse notifies his or her employer of the divorce, the employer will send notices to the family members on the policy, informing them of their right to COBRA coverage. If you qualify for COBRA benefits, your health-plan administrator must give you a notice stating your right to choose to continue benefits provided by the plan. Typically, you then have 60 days to accept coverage or lose all rights to the benefits. Since COBRA benefits are meant to be short-term, the ex-spouse, in this scenario, might want to consider securing another health insurance policy.
How can a divorce lawyer help you with your divorce?
Anyone who has gone through a divorce will tell you that the prospect of having to deal with lawyers, courts, and complex laws is difficult, confusing and overwhelming. Understanding the basics of Connecticut divorce law can be an important first step in putting your mind at ease. A divorce lawyer can help you understand the law, the process, and any potential outcomes to your unique situation.
Is divorce in Connecticut the same as in other states?
Every state has its own unique divorce laws when it comes to family and matrimonial law. It is important to understand that there may be some significant differences varying from state to state as to how terms are defined and how legal matters are pursued.
What is the difference between marriage annulment and divorce?
Marriage annulment is different from divorce. In an annulment, a marriage is declared null and void, as if it had never taken place. The grounds for annulment require that the marriage is void or voidable under Connecticut state law, meaning the marriage itself was never legal in the first place. Some grounds for annulment include:
- Marriage performed without a valid marriage license
- Marriage between two parties where at least one party was already married
- Marriage performed by someone unauthorized to do so, or marriage by minors
Marriage annulment is a rare and complex practice in Connecticut and anyone who thinks that they may have grounds for annulment should seek legal counsel before proceeding.
Does it matter if my attorney does not specialize in divorce or matrimonial law?
"A jack of all trades is a master of none." A divorce or matrimonial lawyer focuses their practice on divorce and related legal issues such as custody. Divorce lawyers have an acute knowledge of all related issues that arise when parties are going through a divorce, such as:
- division of property
- allocation of debts
- spousal support
- child support
- child custody
- parenting plans
Keep in mind that divorce practices vary from state to state, so it is important to consult an experienced divorce lawyer who practices family and matrimonial law in Connecticut.
What does an uncontested divorce in Connecticut mean?
Most divorce cases in Connecticut are uncontested. This means that (with or without the help of legal counsel) the two parties were able to come to an agreement about property, children and support issues without involving the courts.
How are debts allocated in a Connecticut divorce?
Not only is property divided in the dissolution of marriage or legal separation, but debt is divided as well. Again there is no law that guarantees an equal division of debt. Careful consideration needs to be made such as who acquired the debt and for what purpose was the debt acquired? Did one party benefit more from the acquired debt than the other party? You should consult with an experienced CT divorce lawyer to understand the allocation of debts in your CT divorce.
What is alimony (spousal support) in Connecticut?
Alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support, is an ongoing court ordered payment from one party to another. There is no law that guarantees alimony in a divorce. A number of factors including, but not limited to, length of marriage, earning capacity, and causes for the breakdown of marriage may be taken into consideration when determining the amount of alimony and the length it is paid.
What is child support in Connecticut?
Many cases of divorce involve children who must be considered and provided for. Child support is a court-mandated payment from one party to another for the purpose of caring for the children. Connecticut has developed a set of guidelines to determine what child support should be based on the parties' incomes. There are grounds to deviate from the Connecticut child support guidelines such as extraordinary medical expenses, total family support or shared physical custody. Consult with an experienced Connecticut family attorney to further discuss child support issues.
What is a parenting plan?
A parenting plan is a written agreement that details how children will be taken care of in a divorce or custody matter. This includes a plan for custody and visitation as well as holiday and vacation time. Essentially, a parenting plan will set guidelines for how the separating couple will co-parent their child or children following a divorce.
Why contact Bauer Law Group?
Getting through a divorce without legal counsel is difficult and overwhelming. The attorneys at Bauer Law Group, LLC will provide you with the guidance you need to assure that your interests and assets are protected. Experience matters. Bauer Law Group, LLC has more than a decade of combined experienced to help you get the best possible outcome.
Whether you have already decided to pursue a divorce or are still contemplating your options, it is helpful to learn the basics of the CT divorce process as this website provides only a glimpse of issues that might arise during your divorce. The Attorneys at Bauer Law Group, LLC are experienced advocates in all aspects of matrimonial and family law. Being a divorce and custody lawyer in Connecticut can be challenging, but the attorneys in Bauer Law Group, LLC have found that helping families navigate through one of the most difficult times of their lives rewarding.
Schedule an initial consultation with Bauer Law Group, LLC today to discuss all of your options.
Bauer Law Group, LLC practices in the following counties: New Haven, Hartford, Fairfield, Middlesex, New London