Fairfield Divorce Lawyer 

Divorce can be physically exhausting, emotionally taxing, and legally complicated.  You may find yourself concerned about financial resources, the well-being of your children, finding a new place to live, and so much more.

Most people in the midst of divorce are understandably not interested in a drawn-out process. Instead, they want to put the strain and potential ugliness of divorce behind them and move forward with their lives.

If you want to learn the legal ins and outs of the divorce process in Connecticut, as well as ways to potentially expedite the process, a Fairfield divorce lawyer could be an effective resource. Let a skilled family attorney help you to begin anew.

Residency Requirements in Fairfield

Connecticut General Statutes §46b-44 establishes that a couple seeking a divorce in Fairfield must be continuously domiciled in Connecticut for 12 months prior to initiation of proceedings or the issuance of a judgment by the court. By the strict letter of this law, a couple may file for divorce without satisfying the 12-month residency requirement, provided that they satisfy it by the time that the divorce is finalized.

Furthermore, an exception applies if one spouse lived in Connecticut at the time of the marriage, moved, and then returned to the state with the intention of living there permanently before filing for divorce.

Dissolution Procedures

After the residency requirement for a divorce is fulfilled, the ensuing legal action commences with a formal complaint drafted by a Fairfield divorce attorney. This complaint contains some details regarding the marriage and the filing party’s claim for relief, as well as a summons that instructs the non-filing spouse or their counsel to file a response with the court before the so-called “return day” specified in the complaint

90-Day Waiting Period

There is a 90-day waiting period following the return day before either involved party may formally dissolve the marriage, according to Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-67.  Note that during this 90-day period, spouses may request temporary orders of custody, visitation, alimony and more, or—under Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-53—even seek an order from the court requiring their spouse to participate in reconciliation conferences.

Upon the conclusion of the 90-day waiting period, the case could be assigned for trial as either an uncontested matter or a contested matter, depending on whether conflicts remain concerning property division, alimony, child custody, or child support. If the case is uncontested, the court proceeding in which the judge approves the parties’ agreement is typically very brief. If the case is contested, though, both parties will go to trial.

Ways to Expedite the Divorce Process

Some marriages qualify for a non-adversarial divorce under Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-44a, the primary benefit of which could be eliminating the 90-day waiting period requirement. For a couple to be eligible for this process, the following conditions must apply:

  • The couple was married for no more than 8 years
  • Neither spouse is pregnant
  • No children were born to, or adopted by, either spouse before or during the marriage
  • The total value of all property owned by the spouses equals less than $35,000
  • Neither spouse has a defined benefit pension plan
  • Neither spouse has a pending bankruptcy

Even if a divorcing couple does not qualify for a non-adversarial divorce, the parties may still be successful in waiving the 90-day waiting period, so long as they have an agreement as to all issues in the divorce, as allowed for in Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-67. A divorce lawyer in Fairfield could help individual parties determine what options for speeding up the divorce process may be available in their cases.

Consulting a Fairfield Divorce Attorney for Help

If you are considering or actively pursuing a divorce in the near future, you should consult with an experienced Fairfield divorce lawyer before proceeding with the dissolution. A compassionate local attorney could understand and be sensitive to your need to pick yourself up from the throes of divorce and rebuild as soon as practicable. Call today to schedule a consultation with legal counsel who could do just that.