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Divorce We Can Help You Go From Unhappy to Happy Even After

Connecticut Divorce Attorney

Representing Clients in Hamden, Fairfield County, and the rest of Connecticut

It is important to find a lawyer who is versed in the complex issues that inevitably arise during the emotionally and financially difficult time of filing for divorce.

The divorce process can be tedious and involves:

What Types of Divorce Are Available in Connecticut?

All divorces can be assigned to either one of two categories: contested or uncontested. In a contested divorce, the spouses are unable to agree on one or more of the major issues involved in the dissolution of the marriage.

Understanding Contested Divorces in Connecticut

Whether it is a dispute over child custody, a fight over the payment of alimony, or a disagreement concerning the division of shared property, the family law judge is called upon to rule on the matter.

Contested divorces are essentially courtroom trials, and they involve extensive adversarial litigation in the effort to win the case.

Navigating Uncontested Divorce Proceedings

In an uncontested divorce, on the other hand, you and your spouse work together to negotiate a settlement out of court.

The fact that your divorce is uncontested does not mean that you agree on everything at the outset, but it does mean that you are both determined to pursue an amicable resolution to the case. When you work with the Hamden divorce attorneys at Happy Even After, you will have a legal team that is ready to take on the challenges involved in your case and to fight to defend your personal interests.

Whenever possible, we try to help our clients achieve an uncontested divorce. If the other side refuses to approach the case fairly, however, we will not hesitate to take the matter to court. We approach our clients' cases as if they were our own and are ready to take immediate action on your behalf.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Connecticut?

Getting Divorced

Although Connecticut is a no-fault divorce state, it also provides fault-based divorce. When a couple chooses to obtain a no-fault divorce, it essentially means that their marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance of a reconciliation. Additionally, when filing a no-fault divorce, neither spouse must prove who is to blame for the end of the marriage.

When a spouse files for a fault-based divorce, however, it must be based on one of the following grounds:

  • Ongoing substance abuse
  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion for at least one year
  • 5 years of confinement in a mental hospital
  • Intolerable cruelty
  • Imprisonment for certain crimes, such as rape

Regardless if your spouse agrees with your decision to move forward with a divorce or not, nothing can stop you from pursuing the dissolution of your marriage. As long as one party believes the marriage can no longer work, it is enough to set the process in motion.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Connecticut?

While divorce cases may vary, the general waiting time to get a divorce in Connecticut is estimated between 30 to 90 days. The starting time usually begins once all divorce paperwork has been filed by both the parties and the court, however it can be delayed if the court has a larger caseload.

Can I Get a Divorce Without Spousal Consent?

Contrary to the belief that you cannot get a divorce without mutual consent, every state allows for an individual to file for divorce if they feel it is irretrievably broken. The paperwork that must be filed may be rather straightforward, however the issues that come along with divorce can become complex, which is why it's important to have an attorney by your side that can guide you through every step.

How Does Connecticut Handle Equitable Distribution?

Connecticut law states that no court will divide assets through any form of bias or favoritism. Connecticut is an equitable distribution state which means that marital possessions will be spit in a fair and equitable manner. This does not necessarily mean that assets are handed out 50/50. They are many aspects of the divorce the court must examine before determining who gets what.

How the Divorce Process Works in Connecticut

Gaining a basic understanding of what lies ahead can help reduce your anxiety when the time comes for “pre-trials” or “depositions,” which sound intimidating. It is also an advantage to understand why each step is necessary and what the purpose is for them. Understanding the divorce process will make your experience of the entire divorce easier.

The divorce process in Connecticut typically involves the following steps:

  • Find an attorney and schedule a consultation.
  • Prepare questions, gather needed documents, and have initial consultation.
  • Pay retainer to attorney, sign retainer agreement, and provide requested information and documents to your attorney.
  • Attorney prepares summons and complaint for divorce and additional pendente lite (temporary) motions as discussed at your consultation.
  • Attorney serves your spouse through a state marshal with the summons and complaint and then files the documents with the clerk of the court.
  • Parties may attend court to address temporary motions on matters such as custody, support, and temporary possession of the family home. Attorneys prepare financial affidavits and child support guidelines for temporary hearing.
  • Temporary hearing held OR parties reach agreement on temporary basis.
  • If there are minor children, parties must attend a parent education class prior to the dissolution.
  • Both sides conduct discovery to obtain information regarding all relevant facts. Obtain valuations of all assets, including expert opinions if needed.
  • Confer with attorney to review facts, identify issues, assess strengths and weaknesses of case, review strategy, and develop proposal for settlement.
  • Spouses, with support of attorneys, attempt to reach agreement through written proposals, mediation, settlement conferences, or other negotiation.
  • Parties reach agreement on all issues OR trial dates are selected.
  • Parties prepare for trial on unresolved issues. This includes preparation of witnesses, trial exhibits, legal research on contested issues, pretrial motions, trial brief, preparation of direct and cross examination of witnesses, preparation of opening statement, subpoena of witnesses, closing argument and suggestions to the court.
  • Meet with attorney for final trial preparation.
  • Trial and judge makes decision.
  • Parties make payments and sign documents (deeds or titles) pursuant to decree.
  • Documents required to divide retirement accounts and ensure the payment of child support submitted to the court.
  • Pay any remaining balance due on attorney’s fees or receive refund.

Things to Consider During the Divorce Process

Whether you are dealing with a legal separation or divorce/dissolution, there are a number of legal considerations to be aware of when trying to reach a settlement agreement. The judge will not finalize the action until you and your spouse have reached agreements on these matters in a settlement out of court, or have litigated the case during a contested divorce.

It is important to remember that even when an agreement is reached, it will never be a perfect agreement. All parties will need to make concessions to reach an outcome that everyone is comfortable with even if it does not include everything they wanted. A good agreement is one that is fair and reasonable - not perfect! This is particularly important to keep in mind when there are children involved, as the parents will continue to have a relationship in the shared experience of child-rearing.

Common Mistakes People Make When Getting a Divorce

Embarking on the divorce process can be daunting, and there are several common missteps that individuals often make during this challenging time.

  • One frequent mistake is the underestimation of the financial complexities associated with divorce. Many individuals fail to gather comprehensive financial documentation or overlook the long-term implications of asset division and spousal support.
  • Another common error is making emotionally-driven decisions rather than rational, legally sound ones. This can lead to prolonged litigation and unfavorable outcomes.
  • Failing to consider the best interests of the children involved is another critical mistake. Parents sometimes overlook the importance of creating a stable and supportive environment for their children, which can result in contentious custody battles.
  • Additionally, many individuals attempt to navigate the divorce process without proper legal representation, believing it will save time or money, but this often results in avoidable mistakes and delays.

Understanding these pitfalls is crucial to mitigating their impact and ensuring a smoother divorce process.

How a Connecticut Divorce Attorney Can Help You Avoid These Mistakes

  1. Comprehensive Financial Assessment: A skilled divorce attorney can help you compile and analyze all necessary financial documents, ensuring that nothing is overlooked. They can provide insights into the long-term financial implications of different settlement options and strive to secure a fair and equitable distribution of assets.
  2. Objective Legal Advice: Divorce attorneys provide an objective viewpoint, helping you make informed decisions based on legal principles rather than emotions. This can lead to more favorable outcomes and can reduce the risk of prolonged litigation.
  3. Child-Centered Solutions: An experienced attorney will focus on the best interests of the children involved. They can help you draft a feasible parenting plan, negotiate child support arrangements, and advocate for a child custody arrangement that promotes stability and well-being.
  4. Professional Representation: A knowledgeable Connecticut divorce attorney will guide you through every step of the legal process, explaining your rights and options. They will represent your interests in court, if necessary, and work to avoid procedural missteps that can delay or complicate the divorce proceedings.
  5. Effective Negotiation: Attorneys are trained negotiators who can help mediate between you and your spouse to reach an amicable settlement. They can facilitate communication and propose solutions that are acceptable to both parties, reducing the likelihood of a contested divorce.
  6. Attention to Detail: Divorce proceedings involve a myriad of legal documents and deadlines. An attorney will ensure all paperwork is accurately completed and timely filed, preventing unnecessary delays and complications.
  7. Emotional Support and Guidance: While attorneys are primarily legal advisors, they also understand the emotional toll of divorce. They can provide reassurance and connect you with additional support resources like counselors or financial advisors to help you through this difficult period.

By avoiding common mistakes and leveraging the expertise of a Connecticut divorce attorney, you can navigate the divorce process more smoothly and achieve a fair resolution.

Ready to Start a New Chapter? Contact Our Hamden Divorce Lawyers Today

Divorce is a legal matter brimming with emotion and, often times is compared to the emotions one would experience while grieving the loss of a loved one. Our Fairfield County Divorce Attorney strives to ensure that our clients' interests are protected, while still keeping their eyes on the long term goal of helping our clients move forward from this situation into the next phase of their lives.

Learn more about how we can help and get started on the process now by contacting us for an initial consultation.

Our Main Focus Is You

Hear What Our Clients Have to Say
    "The best decision that I've ever made"
    Divorce is never easy but the folks at this law firm made things so easy. They explained everything to me in detail, they kept me updated on proceedings & what to expect. The attorney gave me superior representation in court. The electronic communication was fast, billing was handled promptly with details & the staff was exceptionally professional. The best decision that I've ever made was to hire this firm.
    - Jenine W.
    "Thank you so much"
    Everything went smooth. I don’t have to worry about anything my attorney took care of it. I really appreciate it. I’m happy with Happy Even After, family law. Thank you so much.
    - Sumit S.
    "I am truly grateful for the dedication."
    I am truly grateful for the dedication.
    - Joel
    "I would recommend Happy Even After to anyone looking for support and guidance during these times…"
    I would recommend Happy Even After to anyone looking for support and guidance during these times, it has been such a relief to have the representation of the team at Happy Even After.
    - Jenna S.
    "Words cannot express how much I appreciate you"
    Thank you for helping me through this difficult trial and ensuring the best possible outcome on my behalf. I am so happy to start my next chapter. For many years I only dreamed of this chapter and now it’s a reality with the help of a very passionate
    - Erica
    "Renee helped me find the strength that I didn’t know I had."
    Renee sees the whole picture and doesn’t just focus on the legal issues. She recognizes the emotional impact of divorce and knows how difficult it can be, even if you are the one initiating it.
    - Julie
    "She's a master of her craft and has a tough inner strength!"
    Renee and her team were highly responsive and thorough. Crucially, Renee showed an inner strength and adaptability that helped work through the often unreasonable demands and tactics of my ex.
    - JD
    "Renée was very thorough and smart when it comes to divorce and child custody especially for fathers’ rights."
    I had to find an attorney and the Happy Even After was highly recommended to me so I made my consultation with Renée. Right away I felt at ease. Renée took some of my worries away and she reassured me this is all normal procedure in getting a divorce. Renée was very professional, respectful, polite and kind... Renée was very thorough and smart when it comes to divorce and child custody especially for fathers’ rights. Everyone in her office was very professional, polite and caring. The paralegal was very helpful. She would get things done ASAP and if you needed something, she would send it through email right away. It was always a pleasure speaking with her on the phone, in person or through email. I also had the pleasure of working with Leslie who prepared my financial affidavit. She was always a pleasure to speak with, very polite, professional and helpful. Leslie would walk me through something I did not understand step-by-step or would find the answer for me. Overall, the whole firm was excellent. I highly recommend Happy Even After to anyone that's going through a divorce..... thanks for the positive experience from Renée and her law firm!!!!
    - Phil

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  • A custom legal strategy based on your goals and needs.
  • We pride ourselves on relentless high quality representation.
  • We care about how your divorce impacts your children and our approach is always child-centered.
  • We stand against unnecessary conflict.