Are you considering a divorce? Have you been served papers? Divorce can be at once distressing and confusing, as it involves bringing emotional and legal bonds to an end. If your own divorce is around the corner, it is important that you understand the process. Knowing the hurdles you must jump in the next months can prepare you to seek the best possible life after marriage.
First Steps in a Dissolution
Before a couple can begin the divorce process in Connecticut, they have to make sure at least one of the parties has met the residency requirement. After one spouse has lived in the state for a minimum of 1 year, either party can file for divorce. The residency requirement is the only potential roadblock to divorce that a Fairfield County couple might face. Having met this obligation, they can continue the process of formalizing their dissolution.
The divorce process generally contains the following steps:
- Filing for dissolution
- Serving papers to the other spouse
- Determining grounds for the breakup
- Negotiating or contesting key issues
- Attending court hearing(s)
- Pursuing further litigation (if contested)
Who is at fault?
Once someone has filed for divorce, their case cannot proceed until certain matters have been settled. The first issue to be decided is the grounds for the dissolution. While a couple can agree to a no-fault basis for their divorce (known as irreconcilable differences), one party may attempt to prove that the other is at fault for the breakup. If this is the case, they will have to provide evidence indicating that the other party wronged them in some way (see our blog on fault divorce to learn more about this process).
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
After determining the grounds for divorce, both parties must come to an agreement regarding the future division of responsibilities and assets. If they agree on these matters, they may pursue an uncontested divorce; if not, they will have to negotiate or even litigate to resolve these issues in a contested divorce.
The following must be settled before the couple can proceed with their dissolution:
The sooner a couple can reach a favorable arrangement concerning these issues, the sooner they will be able to end the process with a final hearing, and the sooner they can move on with their lives. By taking an informed approach to divorce, you may be able to reduce the time and action necessary to bring your case to a close.
Have more questions? We are here to help!
At Bayer & Black, P.C., we know that divorce is not easy. Whether you want to start your case on the right foot or need an aggressive ally for negotiation, we recommend seeking counsel from an experienced family lawyer. Contact our office today to learn why you should look to our firm for service and counsel in Fairfield County.