Divorce and Family Law

Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce may involve issues of distribution of property, child custody, alimony (spousal support), child visitation/access, parenting time, child support, and the division of marital debt. Whether a divorce is adversarial (contested) or non-adversarial (by agreement) will determine how long it will take to obtain the divorce. In a Legal separation a married couple enter into a binding agreement about the terms and conditions of their separation, which depending upon the circumstances may involve custody, property settlement, and support. The grounds and procedure for obtaining a legal separation are identical to a divorce except that in a legal separation the parties are unable to remarry while separated.

Robitaille Law Firm LLC has over 30 years of experience in representing Connecticut and Massachusetts residents in family matters, with a proven track record in negotiating settlements and obtaining successful verdicts for our clients when a trial is necessary.

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How long does it take to get a divorce in Connecticut?

Following the expiration of ninety days after the day on which a complaint for dissolution or legal separation is made returnable, absent certain exceptions, the court may proceed on the complaint and the case may be heard and a decree granted thereon after the expiration of the ninety days. See Sec. 46b-40.

Under certain conditions, parties to a marriage may begin an action for a non-adversarial divorce by filing a notarized joint petition in the judicial district in which one of the parties resides. Non-adversarial Divorce is a simplified process by which eligible parties can obtain a divorce within 35 days without having to come to court and appear before a judge. See Sec. 46b-44a (a).

What does ‘shared custody” mean?

The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines define “shared physical custody” as: “a situation in which the physical residence of the child is shared by the parents in a manner that ensures the child has substantially equal time and contact with both parents. An exactly equal sharing of physical care and control of the child is not required for a finding of shared physical custody.”

In joint or shared physical custody arrangements, the child spends time with each parent. The exact schedule can vary dramatically as agreed upon by the parents or as determined to be in the child’s best interest by a judge. While sole physical custody has become less the norm, one parent may be named as the primary physical custodian. According to Connecticut Child Support Guidelines, shared physical custody happens when the non-custodial parent exercises care for children for periods of time that exceed a normal visitation schedule. The guidelines state that joint physical custody will not necessarily mean equal amounts of time between parents.

What is the ‘parenting education program’?

“Parenting education program” means a course designed by the Judicial Department to educate persons, including unmarried parents, on the impact on children of the restructuring of families. The course shall include, but not be limited to, information on the developmental stages of children, adjustment of children to parental separation, dispute resolution and conflict management, guidelines for visitation, stress reduction in children and cooperative parenting. No party shall be required to participate in such program more than once. A party shall be deemed to have satisfactorily completed such program upon certification by the service provider of the program. See Sec. 46b-69b.

What are the Child Support Guidelines?

The Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines are state regulations which provide a mathematical formula to set the child support payment amount. The Guidelines use the combined income of the mother and the father and the number of children to set a child support amount. See Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines.

What does it cost to file papers with the court?

There are different fees for different kinds of papers that you might be filing with the court. The fees are listed in the Court’s Fee Schedule.

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