Few couples enter a marriage expecting it to end in divorce, but sometimes divorce is the best option for both parties involved, particularly when they have exhausted other efforts. However, divorce is not a simple process—there is much to consider, including essential divorce proceedings like property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and other details to advance a petition for legal separation or divorce. For this reason, the process of divorce can quickly become complicated and overwhelming without a divorce and separation attorney.
Sometimes couples delay seeking legal separation or filing for divorce because they feel intimidated by the number of decisions that need to be made. However, seeking legal help early on can help to streamline and simplify the process. If it is truly time to consider separation, don’t allow a fear of the process or lack of support to keep you from seeking the best outcome for your family.
Legal Expertise for Madison, CT Divorces
The Madison divorce attorneys at CT Divorce Mediation Centers are experienced in all aspects of family law and are well equipped to handle even the most complex legal separation cases. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we will work tirelessly to help ensure you reach a resolution that is best for everyone involved. By putting our experience and knowledge to work for you, we can help ensure that your legal separation is handled in a smooth and efficient manner. Browse our family law website for information about our services, or contact us today to meet with one of our collaborative divorce attorneys today.
Do I Need a Madison Family Separation Attorney?
If you are considering formally separating from your spouse, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A family law attorney can help protect your interests and advocate on your behalf regarding the terms of your separation. In addition to the risk of an unfavorable outcome, going through the legal separation process without assistance can be costly—you can easily miss filing deadlines or make expensive paperwork mistakes that a family law attorney can help you avoid. If your partner already has legal representation, it is even more important to secure your own lawyer to ensure that you are on equal footing.
Your Madison divorce attorney will help you through every step of the legal separation process, from filing the initial paperwork to negotiating a settlement and pursuing divorce litigation. They will work with you to create a parenting plan that will best meet your children’s needs and help you protect your financial interests. Without a Madison separation attorney from CT Divorce Mediation Centers by your side, you could end up paying more in the long run or advancing a settlement that is not in your best interests.
What Is the Difference Between Divorce and Separation?
While both divorce and separation result in a critical change to your relationship and leave you legally separated from your partner, the terms are not interchangeable—only divorce results in the legal dissolution of your marriage. If you wish to reconcile after a separation, you can petition the court to reverse the separation.
It is important to consider that choosing separation before a divorce can allow you to maintain critical financial ties, such as insurance, social security benefits, and more. In addition, Connecticut typically requires divorcing couples to live separately from one another for 18 months before pursuing a no-fault divorce (a situation where the spouses believe their marriage is irretrievably broken).
What Is the Process Required for Divorce or Separation in Connecticut?
The first step to getting a divorce or separation is the same in Connecticut—you must file the appropriate paperwork with your county clerk of court. In Connecticut, as in most states, either party can file the initial divorce or separation complaint as long as one party has lived in the state for at least 12 months. You may enter a no-fault complaint if you believe your marriage is ending due to irreconcilable differences, or you may choose to assign fault if your spouse demonstrated grounds for fault, including adultery, abuse or cruelty, habitual drunkenness, incarceration, desertion, or fraud. Once you file, your spouse will be served with notice of the upcoming proceedings, as well as a summons and any automatic court orders. After being served, your spouse has four weeks to respond to the complaint.
The next step is to schedule a hearing. Before your hearing date, you may enter mediation or negotiation with your spouse to craft a divorce or separation agreement that suits your needs. If you cannot agree on custody, support, alimony, or property division, you may need to experience subsequent court hearings to arrive at a final settlement. After mediation or Connecticut family court has created a divorce settlement, a divorce decree will be issued, and you will be legally divorced.
How Is Child Custody and Child Support Determined?
When children are involved in a divorce or separation, the Connecticut family court is charged with ensuring the final divorce agreement considers what is in their best interests. While it is possible for parents to negotiate a custody arrangement or child support agreement during mediation, family court must approve this arrangement. The state of Connecticut uses an income shares model to determine child support, which calculates the amount of support based on both parents’ income.
The court will also help determine visitation schedules and parenting plans. These typically consider factors such as the child’s age, the distance between the parent’s homes, and each parent’s work schedule. If you are facing a custody battle in Connecticut, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. Your lawyer will answer any child support and custody questions you may have and help you present your argument to the court.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Connecticut?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce varies from case to case. At a minimum, the process will take several months, as the court must allow four weeks for both parties to respond to the initial petitions and ninety days to schedule hearings. If there are contested issues, such as custody and support, these additional proceedings can take even longer.
If you are looking to get divorced quickly in Connecticut, it is important that you retain representation right away. Achieving the necessary steps within the recommended period is extremely difficult without a skilled attorney.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is one spouse’s payment to the other following a divorce. It can help the receiving spouse maintain the same standard of living they had during the marriage or help them get back on their feet after experiencing the drastic changes caused by divorce. If applicable, alimony is decided at the time of your divorce and is included in your settlement agreement. Once you are divorced, alimony can be modified or terminated if there has been a significant change in your circumstances, such as a job loss or a remarriage.
Connecticut has no official formula for calculating alimony, and not every divorce in the state will involve alimony. Factors that influence alimony may include:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial situation following divorce, including income and expenses
- Whether one spouse contributed to the other’s earning potential
- The age and health of each spouse
- If there is a child custody order, the amount of time the child spends with each parent
- Whether either spouse is already receiving or paying alimony from a previous divorce
What Makes a High Performing Madison Divorce Attorney?
An excellent Madison family law attorney is well-versed in a variety of legal issues that can arise during a divorce, such as child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. Some characteristics essential for your Madison divorce and separation attorney include the following:
- Your attorney should be compassionate and understanding.
- You should feel confident in your Madison divorce lawyer’s ability to resolve the issues surrounding your divorce.
- Your lawyer should be up to date on the latest family law statutes and case law in Connecticut.
- Your lawyer should not be intimidated by the other party or their attorney.
- Your lawyer should keep you abreast of all new developments in your case.
- Your lawyer should help you understand your options, even if they are not in your favor.
- Your lawyer should be an expert negotiator and familiar with mediation.
What Should I Prepare Before Meeting with a Madison Divorce Attorney?
It is important that you are prepared for your initial consultation with an experienced family law attorney. You should have relevant information available, including:
- Your marriage certificate
- Your most recent tax returns
- Proof of income for both you and your spouse
- Documents relating to any assets or debts you may have, including bank statements
- Details of any expenses you currently pay on your own, such as rent or mortgage payments, daycare costs for children, and more
- Information about any children you and your spouse have together, including their birth certificates and social security numbers
Contact CT Divorce Mediation Centers for Premier Divorce Support Today
Divorce and separation are never easy, but the dedicated divorce and separation lawyers at CT Divorce Mediation Centers can make the process as seamless as possible. Our team of highly qualified, experienced attorneys can guide you through each step, preserving your rights and helping you make the best possible decisions for your future. If you would like to learn more about our services or set up an initial consultation, contact our firm today to get started.