Fairfield Family Lawyer
Family law encompasses a wide range of issues, such as divorce, alimony, child custody and support, adoption, prenuptial agreements, parental rights, paternity, domestic partnerships, and reproductive rights. Some of the more common family law issues in Fairfield are divorce, property distribution, and alimony.
Since all of these issues can be deeply personal, a person in need of legal advice should be able to turn to a trustworthy family lawyer. If you are going through a difficult family matter and want to consult an attorney, a Fairfield family lawyer could listen to all the details of your situation confidentially and impartially. An attorney could discuss your potential legal options and answer any questions you may have about the legal process.
Getting a Divorce in Fairfield
Connecticut law recognizes that couples may want a divorce even if neither of the spouses was responsible for ruining the marriage by acts such as adultery, abuse, desertion, or the like. Thus, the state allows for no-fault divorces, whereby one spouse can file for divorce without having to prove the other spouse was at fault.
A court will grant a no-fault divorce decree under Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-40(c) if they meet one of two conditions. These are when the marriage is “irretrievably broken” or when the couple has lived separately and apart for at least 18 months before filing for divorce and there is no reason to believe their marriage can be reconciled.
However, Connecticut also recognizes fault divorces, which will be granted by a court if they find, among other things, that a spouse:
- Committed adultery or habitual abuse
- Deserted and neglected the other spouse for one year or longer
- Is absent for seven years without any communication
- Is legally confined to a mental institution for a period of five years
Division of Property Laws
While there is no state statute that mandates how spouses should divide marital property in a divorce, Connecticut courts apply the principle of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution of property does not necessarily mean the property will be divided by equal economic value, but rather it will be divided based on fairness. The court takes the various factors of each spouse’s financial situation into consideration to fairly divide marital property.
Separate property—property that each spouse owned before marriage—is generally awarded to the original owner, but a court may consider such property in its equitable distribution analysis. A Fairfield family lawyer has experience in property division cases and could assess a spouse’s potential share according to relevant laws.
Laws in Fairfield may require one spouse to pay the other spouse alimony, or spousal support, during and after divorce proceedings. Alimony is meant to help the dependent spouse get back on their feet following a divorce.
In determining an alimony award, under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-82, the court will look to a number of different factors, such as:
- How long the couple was married
- The dependent spouse’s age and earning capacity
- Each spouse’s occupation and income
- Each spouse’s standard of living and needs
If a spouse believes the amount of proposed alimony differs from what is fair, a family attorney in Fairfield could assess their situation and potentially help the spouse negotiate with a former spouse.
Speak with a Fairfield Family Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or have a related family law issue, contact a Fairfield family lawyer today. An experienced family law attorney could sit down with you to talk about your needs and legal options. Whether it is helping you move through a divorce as quickly and efficiently as possible or giving the court a legal opinion of a fair property division, a family lawyer is prepared to help individuals who want to disentangle from private matters and move on with their lives.