Divorce Information & Facts

Our Team of Experienced Connecticut Divorce Attorneys Provides Facts & Answers to the Most Common Divorce Questions

a gold border around a white square with black lettering that reads "Divorce Information & Facts"When you are considering divorce, it’s natural to have a lot of questions.  Together our divorce attorneys have decades of experience have helped hundreds of people through the divorce and family law process.  If we decide to work together, your lead divorce lawyer will develop a legal strategy and give you legal answers and advice specific to you, your situation, and your goals. Plus, we are always adding to our library of legal information on both our Divorce and Family Law Blog and YouTube video channel.

In the meantime, read on for divorce facts and our divorce attorneys’ answers to the most common questions.

How Do You File For Divorce?

Technically, to file for a divorce in Connecticut, you have to fill out two forms:

  1. Summons Family Actions (form JD-FM-3), and
  2. Divorce Complaint/Cross Complaint (form JD-FM-159).

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  To begin a divorce, you should take the time to get really serious about what your goals are for your future after the divorce.  Then, retain an experienced divorce lawyer to design a legal strategy rooted in those goals.

Read: Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First

Read: What Should I Expect at My Initial Divorce Consultation?

Take Action:  Book Your Initial Call With Us

What Are the Grounds for Divorce?

Connecticut has both “no fault” and “for fault” divorce.  Read on to learn more about the grounds for both “no-fault” and for-fault divorce.  Section 46b-40 of the Connecticut General Statutes lays out both the no-fault and for-fault grounds for divorce.

No-fault divorce is by far the most common divorce path.  The no-fault divorce grounds are:

  • The marriage has broken down irretrievably
  • The parties have lived apart by reason of incompatibility for a continuous period of at least the eighteen months immediately prior to the service of the complaint and that there is no reasonable prospect that they will be reconciled

This can be confusing, but “no fault” does not mean that a court will never consider whether one spouse is the reason why the marriage broke down. Even in no fault divorces, the concept of fault is built into our law and judges can consider whether one spouse had a more significant role in breaking down the marriage when it comes to alimony and property division.  It’s important to note that although judges have the authority to adjust their orders based upon the cause of the breakdown (for example, adultery), there are many other factors that they take into account when making decisions about property distribution and alimony.

Read: What are the Grounds for Divorce in Connecticut?

How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

Often when people ask “How Much Does a Divorce Cost” what they mean is “What will my legal fees be?”

Freed Marcroft’s initial retainers generally range from $2,000 to $50,000 depending on the complexity of the case. Most often, our divorce retainers range from $7,500 to $12,500.

In terms of how much money divorce will cost, legal fees are only one — albeit important — piece of the financial puzzle.  For most, the major financial items that must be decided in a divorce — how property is divided, whether and how much alimony and spousal support flows, and child support — are bigger financial drivers.  Also, remember to keep in mind that there are substantial costs to not getting a divorce.

Read: How Do Legal Fees Work in a Connecticut Divorce?

Watch:  The Cost of Divorce in Connecticut

How Do You Get a Divorce?

There are three common ways to approach a Connecticut divorce:

At Freed Marcroft, we practice in all of the approaches to divorce because what is most important to us is designing an approach individualized to your, your goals, and your family.

Read: Mediation, Collaboration, or Litigation?

Watch: How to Choose Your Approach

How Do You Choose a Divorce Attorney?

You want to find a divorce attorney whose legal and negotiation skills are top-notch, but that’s not the only thing that matters.

You also want to make sure your divorce attorney is committed to learning about your family, your situation, and the things that matter most to you.  Many very technically skilled divorce lawyers fall into a trap of focusing on what they think of as “winning,” or a good result based upon their experience.  But if what they think of as a “win” isn’t a “win” for you — well, what’s the good of that?

Next, you want to find a divorce attorney who will tell you the truth, even when it isn’t what you want to hear.  As you make decisions about how to move forward with your matter, you need to have your lawyer’s very candid assessment, even — no, especially — when s/he has something to tell you that won’t like.

Third, you want a divorce attorney who limits their practice to divorce and family law.  You’ve heard the expression — “jack of all trades, master of none.”  You wouldn’t hire a general surgeon to operate on your brain, and you shouldn’t hire a general practitioner to represent you in your family law matter.  Also select a divorce and family law firm over a solo practitioner. Make sure that your law firm has the manpower and capacity at their law firm to get you the attention and care you were promised.

Finally, your divorce and family law firm should practice all three divorce methods — litigationcollaborative divorce, and mediation.  The divorce process you choose should be based on you, not your attorney’s partiality or absence of training or experience.

Read: A Divorce Lawyer’s Top Tips to Her Friend on How to Choose a Divorce Divorce Lawyer

How Long Does a Divorce Take?

In our experience at Freed Marcroft, typical divorce timelines range from about 4 to 18 months.

Watch: How Long is My Divorce Going to Take?

Read: How Long Does a Divorce Take in Connecticut?

Read: What is the Waiting Period in Connecticut Divorces?

What is a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree is the court’s final order in your divorce.  It is what formally declares that you are no longer married, and spells out the terms of your divorce with respect to property division and alimony, and — if you have kids — child support and child custody.

A final divorce decree either results from the ruling of the judge at a divorce trial, or an agreement the spouses negotiated and the court entered as its final judgment at an uncontested divorce hearing.

Changes to a divorce decree are typically made via post-judgment court motions.

Read: Can I Get Divorced Without Going to Court?

Read: 4 Common Post-Judgment Divorce Issues

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Spouses always have the opportunity to reach agreements on the issues in their divorce.  These resolutions are reached via negotiation in litigated divorces or in litigation alternatives like mediation and collaborative divorce.  In many cases, the spouses are able to resolve all issues in the divorce, resulting in a full settlement agreement.  Then, lawyers present this comprehensive settlement agreement to the judge at an uncontested divorce hearing.  The judge reviews the agreement, determines it is fair and equitable under Connecticut law, and verifies both spouses (1) understand the terms and consequences and (2) have not been forced to enter into the agreement.  If all is in order, the judge finalizes the divorce that day, and the settlement agreement becomes an enforceable order.

Read: What is an Uncontested Divorce in Connecticut?

Watch:  What Does Uncontested Divorce Mean?

How Do You Prepare for Divorce?

The most critical thing for you to do to prepare for your divorce is to get really, really clear on what your goals are for your life after your divorce.  That’s why our first step at Freed Marcroft is all about your future.  We will talk about what’s going on in your life right now, and together figure out what you want your life to look like instead.

The reason that we need to get clear on your goals is so that, if we decide to work together, your divorce attorney is set up to design the legal strategy to get you there.  In order words, we need to learn your goals at your initial divorce consultation so that we can make sure we have a legal plan that gets you on to living the life that you want to live.

Read: What Should I Expect at My Initial Divorce Consultation?

Take Action:  Book Your Initial Call With Us

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

The automatic orders, which are explained in Connecticut Practice Book §25-5, provide that neither party may deny use of the family home to the other person without a court order if the spouses are living together on the date the court papers are delivered.

However, this default rule can be changed if the parties agree or the court orders a change.

Watch: Who Gets the Family House in a Divorce?

Read:  Who Keeps the House in a Divorce?

How Do You Know When To Divorce?

The key when figuring out when to divorce is to determine what you want, and whether what you have is better than the alternative.  In other words, what future do you want to create?

When you think about your goals for your future, you want to think about time, money, and relationships.  Your present and your future are all built on those three things.

Read: How to Decide Whether to Divorce

Take Action:  Book Your Initial Call With Us