Online Divorce in Connecticut: Main Things to Know
If your marriage has the same fate as the Titanic, you are most likely thinking about divorce. Dissolution of marriage can be frightening with its uncertainty and the complexity of the process, but this is only at first glance. Setting the tone right from the start can help your divorce process run smoothly and cost-effectively.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the features of online divorce in Connecticut and the method of preparing and filing documents with the court.
Through the Internet, you can now make purchases without leaving your home and watch movies without going to the cinema. But unfortunately, it is not yet possible to get a divorce. So what does the term “web divorce” mean?
Divorce over the Internet is the preparation of all the necessary documents using inexpensive specialized services. Online divorce companies help their clients by selecting and filling out the papers for an affordable price in the shortest possible time.
The preparation of an application for online divorce is ideal for those with an uncontested divorce. If the spouses have agreed on all aspects of their dissolution, they can do a DIY divorce without an attorney. And this is a quick way to complete divorce online without spending money on a lawyer’s additional services.
To obtain a no-contested divorce, spouses should agree in advance on child custody, spousal support, division of family property, and debts. They will also have to meet all Connecticut requirements.
Residency Requirements for Getting a Divorce
Connecticut law requires at least one spouse to reside in the state for 12 months before filing a divorce petition or more than 12 months before a final divorce decision is issued. The court allows exceptions if you were previously a Connecticut resident and returned.
Grounds for Divorce
The spouses need legal grounds for divorce. The reasons vary, but they are divided into two main types: fault and no-fault.
The Connecticut court allows a married couple to get a divorce without proving the guilt of one of the spouses by just stating that the marriage has “broken up irrevocably.” Another no-fault ground is the separation of the spouses for 18 months before applying for a divorce.
Although no-fault divorce is preferable as it simplifies the litigation, Connecticut courts also take fault into account. The judge considers guilt when determining financial decisions such as property division, alimony, child custody, and support.
In the matter of fault divorce, one of the spouses has to prove that the other spouse committed some marital misconduct that led to the marriage dissolution. It can be adultery, denial of financial support, cruelty, abuse, etc. Each given reason requires investigation and additional time to obtain evidence. And this, in turn, will affect the final cost of the divorce and its duration.
Only you decide what reason for divorce to indicate. If the spouses have no complaints against each other, it is preferable to choose a no-fault divorce.
Connecticut Child Custody and Parenting Time
The Connecticut court supports that both parents share custody of the child. Joint custody gives parents equal rights and responsibilities.
If the parents disagree with the terms of custody and cannot reach a standard agreement, the court decides on the child’s guardianship. There are different types of custody, but the child’s best interests are always considered.
Sometimes, a third party can obtain custody if the court determines that contact with the parents is not in the child’s best interests. The court can also order supervised visits if the judge has doubts about the safety of the child.
Divorced parents with minor children should also take a parenting training course. But, this is not a requirement.
Connecticut Spousal Support
Connecticut courts order spousal support payments on an individual basis. Unlike most states, the Connecticut court takes the spouse’s fault into account when deciding whether to pay spousal support. Accordingly, the judge can order either spouse to pay alimony.
In Connecticut, spousal support can affect the distribution of property and often complicates the divorce proceeding.
You don’t have to ask the court to assign you spousal support. Spouses have the right to agree on the duration and amount of payments independently. The types of alimony include:
- temporary (alimony pendente lite);
- awarded during the divorce proceedings for the period of the final decision;
- short-term, to acquire the necessary skills;
- long-term or permanent.
Dividing Property in Connecticut
If the spouses disagree on the division of common property, the Connecticut court makes a fair decision, which would suit both parties. It is usually a 50/50 split, but there are always exceptions.
When dividing property, the state court considers the age and health of both parties, with whom the children live, the spouses’ contribution to the marriage, and tax implications. Joint debts, if any, are also shared between the spouses.
The Connecticut court does not consider property acquired by one spouse before marriage, gifts, and inheritances received. It is customary to sell the family house and divide the proceeds between the spouses. Or, one of the parties buys out the house. The sale of a building can be postponed until the child graduates from school.
Filling Out Divorce Forms Online
If the spouses have resolved the above issues, they can proceed to fill out the documents. The plaintiff needs to prepare three forms: a Complaint for Divorce, a Family Actions Summons, and a Notice of Automatic Court Orders.
You can fill out the paperwork with your spouse, with an attorney, or do it yourself using one of two available options. The first option is to download all the forms on the government website and fill them out yourself. The system also allows you to submit documents to the court.
The second way is to use the online divorce company services, where you only need to answer questions regarding your divorce. The system processes your answers and fills out all the necessary forms, sending a completed package of papers ready for filing with the court. It usually takes no more than two business days.
Depending on the case complexity and the presence of children and property, the list of documents can be changed and supplemented.
Filing for Divorce
To file divorce papers, the petitioner needs to pay about $350 for filing fees and $50 for service of court papers. Besides, the spouse needs to pay $125 for the parenting course if there are minor children.
Also, Connecticut has a state e-filing system. In this option, the petitioner does not go to the local court for applying documentation.
Connecticut has a mandatory 90-day waiting period once the divorce petition is filed. The court gives the petitioner and respondent this time to resolve divorce issues and come to a settlement agreement. The couple can expedite the waiting period. To do this, the spouses have to meet the following requirements:
- not have children;
- be married for less than eight years;
- the spouse is not pregnant;
- not have a pension;
- not owning a house;
- the spouse did not apply for Medicaid benefits;
- the total value of the property is less than $35,000.
Divorce always takes time. No court or service can guarantee that you will receive it faster than required by law. But it is in your hands to do everything possible to remove all the pitfalls of the lawsuit.