Westport Divorce Lawyer

Deciding to file for divorce can be difficult. There are many factors to consider, including the financial impact of divorce. In addition to the legal consequences, divorce cases will have emotional consequences for the entire family.

Anyone contemplating divorce should consult a family law attorney and learn more about the process. It can be tempting to try to resolve divorce and other family law matters directly with your spouse.

However, attempting to navigate a divorce case alone can lead to additional legal complications. An experienced Westport divorce lawyer can guide you through this difficult time, protect your interests during the divorce, and help you move forward.

Common Issues

Some typical issues that may arise during a divorce case can include:

  • Property and assets distribution
  • Division of marital debt
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Alimony/spousal support
  • Enforcing a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement
  • Parental relocation
  • Access to the marital home

Some divorcing couples can resolve these issues together in mutual agreements. When parties cannot come to an agreement, a judge resolves the issues for them. whether the parties come to an agreement, or a judge makes the decision, the result is legally binding. A Westport divorce attorney can help a couple reach a conclusion before this process occurs.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Under Connecticut law, legal separation and divorce are quite similar. Section 46b-40 of the Connecticut General Statutes allows spouses to pursue a decree of legal separation, meaning the law recognizes the parties’ intent to permanently separate.

However, spouses who pursue legal separation remain legally married, while those who pursue a divorce do not. This means that legally separated spouses cannot remarry unless they pursue a divorce. During a legal separation, the parties resolve issues related to assets, debts, child custody, child support, spousal support, and any other issues that may arise.

Spouses who seek a decree of legal separation will have a court order to enforce agreements on issues such as property distribution, spousal support, and child custody. There can be other reasons to legally separate, such as tax, estate, and Social Security benefits.

Legally separated spouses can pursue a divorce later. Unlike those who are legally separated, divorced parties are free to remarry. During divorce, parties may come to mutual agreements on issues, or they may allow the judge to resolve these issues. Like a legal separation decree, the divorce decree is an enforceable court order.

A Westport divorce lawyer can help their client to determine whether to pursue a legal separation or a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

The law requires that divorcing spouses provide the reasons, or grounds, for the divorce. The allowable grounds for divorce (and legal separations) include:

  • The marriage has broken down irretrievably
  • Irreconcilable differences causing the parties to live apart for at least 18 months
  • Adultery
  • Fraudulent contract
  • Marital desertion
  • Intolerable cruelty
  • Criminal conviction in certain cases
  • Legal confinement in a mental hospital or institution for at least five years

The spouse seeking a divorce or legal separation must declare the ground for divorce when they initiate the case in court. A Westport divorce lawyer will examine the facts of the case, and help their client determine the appropriate ground for divorce.

Contact an Attorney

If you are thinking about divorce, or want to weigh your legal options before filing in court, you should contact a Westport divorce attorney today. An experienced lawyer can explain your legal options and manage your case while you prepare for your future.