When the defendant is a nonresident, then you must have been a bona fide resident of this state for six months prior to the filing of the complaint, which must be stated in the complaint and proved at the final hearing (Drivers License, etc.). If both parties currently reside in the state, then there is no time period required.
If you have minor children living with your spouse in another state for over six months then you should consider filing in that state as that court has jurisdiction over the children. You spouse can waive that jurisdiction in writing.
County of Filing:
You should file the divorce in the county your spouse lives in, or in the county that you both lived in when you separated, or in your county if your spouse lives out of state. You or your spouse must have a Connecticut address in the county of filing. Connecticut civilian residents living overseas may file in Connecticut if they have maintained their residency in Connecticut.
Active duty members of the military (or their spouses) may file in Connecticut if they have been stationed in Connecticut for six months or were residents of Connecticut when they entered active duty. Smart Divorce.com staff includes former active duty officers and enlisted personnel and are completely knowledgeable on the special military requirements and the “Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act”. Our staff prides themselves on the service they provide our military members.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: NO-FAULT or FAULT ?
The no-fault ground for divorce usually used with these documents is (1) The marriage has broken down irretrievably; (2) the parties have lived apart by reason of incompatibility for a continuous period of at least 18 months. Most clients use one of these grounds since it does not require proof at the final hearing.
Proof of the breakdown of the marriage can be made by: (1) the spouses signing an agreement or statement that their marriage is irretrievably broken or (2) both spouses stating in court that their marriage is irretrievably broken and submitting an agreement concerning the care, custody, visitation, maintenance, support, and education after custody of their children, if any, and concerning alimony and the disposition of any property.
A full list of the fault grounds that are available for a divorce filed in Connecticut are as follows: (Requires proof or the case can be dismissed)
(3) wilful desertion for 1 year;
(4) seven years’ absence, during all of which period the absent party has not been heard from;
(5) habitual intemperance;
(6) intolerable cruelty (mental and verbal);
(7) imprisonment for a period in excess of one year;
(8) mental illness for at least 5 years.
WAITING PERIOD:Connecticut law requires that ninety (90) days elapse from the filing of the Complaint and summons or Answer and Waiver before a final judgment of divorce be entered. If your spouse signs the Connecticut "Answer and Waiver..." immediately after you file the complaint then you can divorced in as little as 90 days.
PROPERTY OF THE MARRIAGE:
In a divorce, the property (land, house, buildings, and items of personal property) owned (and debts owed) by the couple is divided between the parties. In an uncontested divorce, this division is accomplished by means of a Marital Separation Agreement (MSA). You and your spouse must agree to the property and debt division and memorialize your agreement in the Marital Separation Agreement, which will be incorporated by reference into the Decree of Divorce that ultimately ends your marriage. You may agree to divide the property any way you like, as long as a basic fairness is maintained. You do not need to list items already divided or not an important issue in the divorce. You may revise the MSA after receipt of the documents from us by sending an email with your changes. There is never a charge for revisions at any time up to one year.
If you cannot agree on any item of this division, the dissolution of marriage transforms into a contested divorce. If at the final hearing the divorce is still contested we do not provide advice for that hearing. You may need to consult an attorney or be prepared to tell the judge why you feel your requested division of property is fair.
Spousal Support is either agreed upon by the parties or determined by the judge in a contested hearing. We cannot give legal advice regarding spousal support but will include your request in the documents.
The questionnaire you fill out will outline the custody, visitation and support for the children. We will prepare the documents accordingly, and we will also prepare a Marital Separation Agreement (at no additional cost) which outlines in specific detail all the provisions regarding the children. Both parties must attend the parenting class or get a waiver. A list of the places in Connecticut to attend may be obtained from the court. Check with the court to see if you can attend online at: CLICK HERE.
The child support will either be an amount you and your spouse agree upon, or it will be determined for you by the court, according to the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines. If you wish the court to calculate the amount then you will need to file the standardized Child Support Guidelines form and Child Support Income Statement/Affidavit which we provide. See “Connecticut Child Support Calculator” on any search engine such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.
You may have Joint Legal Custody or Sole Legal Custody. This determines how the decisions are made regarding the raising of the child(ren).
Physical custody may be with one residential parent or “SPLIT CUSTODY” where the child(ren) live a substantial time with each parent.
This can be any program agreed upon by the parties and may change from time to time. If the parties cannot agree then the state guidelines are in effect. State guidelines are outlined in the MSA provided with your documents. You do not need to list your present visitation agreement as it will change from time to time but you may if you wish. “No Visitation” or “Restricted Visitation” may be requested by supplying the reason on the questionnaire.
You must file the divorce documents in the Circuit Court in the county that you are filing in. Some court addresses for larger counties are as follows:
Hartford County Superior Court: 101 Lafayette Street Hartford, CT 06106 Tel: (860) 566-1630; Fax: (860) 566-1983
Fairfield County Superior Court: Bridgeport Superior Court, 172 Golden Hill St. Bridgeport, CT 06604 Phone: (203) 579 -6568 Fax: (203) 382-8408
New Haven County Superior Court: 121 Elm St New Haven, CT 06510 Phone: (203) 789-7461 Fax: (203) 789-7492
Litchfield County Superior Court: 15 West St. Litchfield, CT 06874 Tel: (860) 567 0885 Fax: (860) 567-4779
New London County New London Superior Court: 70 Huntington Street, New London, CT 06320 Phone: 443-5363 Fax: 442-7703
Tolland County Tolland Superior Court: 69 Brooklyn Street, Rockville, CT 06066 Phone: 860-896-4920 Fax: 860-875-0777
Windham County Putnam Superior Court: 155 Church Street, Putnam, CT 06260 Phone: 860-928-7749 Fax: 860-928-7076
Middlesex County Middlesex Superior Court: 1 Court Street, Middletown, CT 06457–3374 Phone: 860-343-6400 Fax: 860-343-6423
The court filing fees for a divorce inn Connecticut is approximately $250.
If your spouse won't sign and must be served, then the sheriff may charge a fee of around $25 to serve your spouse.
If you don't know the whereabouts of your spouse, then your spouse will need to be served by publication. The average publication fee is approximately $75.
You may call the Clerk of the Court in your county to determine the exact fees in your county.
METHODS OF SERVICE:
1. The most common way is to have your spouse sign the documents AFTER you have filed the complaint with the court. You can hand deliver the documents , mail them or have a third party deliver them to your spouse. This method is available even though your spouse is incarcerated.
2. If your spouse will not sign or you not not sure if your spouse will sign then you can get service by having the sheriff in spouse’s county serve a copy of the filed documents along with other documents requiring spouse’s signature. You can contact the sheriff in any state to serve your spouse. You can also get service by Certified Mail, (Return Receipt Requested) if your spouse lives out of state. If your spouse is incarcerated then you can get service by having the prison/jail officials serve your spouse.
3. Service by publication. If you cannot find your spouse after a diligent search then you can publish. The publication fee for the newspaper is approximately $65 but varies for different counties. Upon the filing of the Affidavit the clerk shall direct that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. We provide all the required documents for service by publication.
Go to our questionnaire and get started today.