CONNECTICUT DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: Either party can file a complaint for divorce after he or she has established residence in the state. The Decree of Divorce, however, will be entered only after one party has been a resident of the state for a year.
- No Fault: The marriage has broken down irretrievably; the parties have lived apart by reason of incompatibility for a continuous period of at least 18 months.
- Fault: Adultery; Fraud; Willful desertion for one year; Seven years’ absence, during which time the absent party has not been heard from; Habitual intemperance; Intolerable cruelty (mental and verbal); Imprisonment for a period in excess of one year; Mental illness for at least five years.
Property Division: Connecticut is an equitable distribution “hotchpot” state. This means that the court can divide any and all property owned by the parties, however and whenever acquired, in an “equitable” manner, i.e., fairly as the circumstances dictate. The court can consider the causes of the dissolution, the length of the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, needs of each party, opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income, contribution of each party to the marital and separate estates. (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: The court can award alimony to either party, and the court will consider the length of the marriage, the causes for dissolution, age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of each party, property distribution, and the desirability of the custodial parent securing employment. Connecticut has no alimony guidelines.
Child Custody and Child Support: As in every state, custody is based on “the best interests of the child.” Legal and/or physical custody may be awarded to the father or the mother. When the parties agree to joint custody, however, it is presumed that joint custody is in the child’s best interests. Parents are expected to prepare a parenting plan that will cover things like how important decisions will be made concerning medical treatment, education, and religious instruction; where the child will live; how disputes will be resolved. (click the following for an overview and list of articles on child custody and child support).
A decision of sole custody will be based on, among other things: the child’s personality and wishes, if the child is old enough to make a reasoned decision; the relationship between parents and child; which of the parents has completed a parenting course; any domestic violence or history of abuse or neglect; the mental and physical health of everyone involved; and the causes for the end of the marriage.
Connecticut child support guidelines are based on an income-shares model: the total obligation is divided between the mother and father according to their incomes.
For a combined net weekly income of:
- $460, support for one child is $116; for two children, $163; for three children, $189.
- $1,150, support for one child is $246; for two children, $334; for three children, $377.
- $2,300, support for one child is $349; for two children, $461; for three children, $508.
While support terminates when a child graduates from high school, the court may require the parents to pay support for the child’s college education.
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.