CONNECTICUT DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
|This is a divorce planning and information guide to understanding divorce in Connecticut. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.|
- Time Frame: An uncontested Connecticut dissolution of marriage takes a minimum of about four months; a contested case normally takes much longer.
- Where to File: Superior Court. (See Connecticut Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: Connecticut General Statutes Annotated 46-b Chapter 815-816.
- Name of Action: Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage.
- Name of Parties: The Plaintiff is the party starting the case; the defendant is the other party who responds to the Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Both no-faulty and fault offered.
- Primary Documents Filed: Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. (See CT Forms List With Explanations)
- Physical Separation Required: For no-fault action unless filing on grounds of "the marriage has broken down irretrievably".
- Legal Separation Permitted: Yes.
- Grounds: No-fault, under grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or "voluntary separation for 18 month with no reasonable prospect for reconciliation" and eight general and traditional grounds. (See Connecticut Laws for Divorce)
- Residency Requirement: One of the spouses must be a resident for at least 12 months. (See Connecticut Residency Requirements for Divorce)
- Mediation Required: If custody and support issues are being disputed by the parties, either party may request for mediation within 90 days of filing the request for dissolution.
- Counseling Required: After filing the request for conciliation, the court orders at least two mandatory counseling sessions.
- Parenting Classes Required: Connecticut requires divorcing couples with children under age 18 to attend parenting classes.
- Filing Fee: $360. (See CT Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement of the Department of Social Services at 1-800-228-KIDS.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: the Income Shares Model. (See Connecticut Child Support)
- Property Division: An equitable distribution state, Connecticut is kitchen sink state, which means that the courts have jurisdiction over all the property that both spouses have, marital and separate.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is marital property.
- Attendance at Hearing: The filing spouse must attend a short hearing; the other spouse need not attend.(Read more about Connecticut divorce hearings)
- Fault Considered in Property Division: Yes, fault reduces the share marital property.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: A sheriff, his or her deputy, a constable, or other proper officer authorized by Connecticut statute, may serve process. An "indifferent person" may be named to serve process under certain circumstances.
- Divorce Records: The Connecticut State Department of Health Vital Records Office.
- Learn More About Connecticut Divorce.
In Connecticut, the mandatory parenting class (education program) helps parents understand and deal with the trauma children experience when their parents go through a divorce or separation. The education program is designed to make divorce or separation as heathy as possible for the child(ren) involved. The parenting class addresses the different developmental stages, cooperative parenting, conflict management and dispute resolution, guidelines for visitation and parent access, and stress reduction for children. The parenting class is mandatory for all parents with children under the age of 18 and must be completed within 60 days of filing a divorce with the county court. The cost is $150 per parent to attend the class. The class fee is paid to the program provider directly. Parents who cannot afford the fee should complete an application for Waiver of Fees form (JD-FM-75) and file it with the clerk. This is the only way to have the class fees waived. The total class time is about six hours. It can be offered in two three- hour classes, or in three two-hour classes depending on the county and time of year. At this point, independent online classes are not accepted by Connecticut courts.
Determining appropriate child support in Connecticut means calculating each parent’s net income. To do this, from his or her gross income, a party subtracts federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, state and local income taxes, medical insurance premium payments, payments on court-ordered life insurance for the benefit of a child, payments on court-ordered disability insurance, mandatory union dues or fees, cost of mandatory uniforms and tools needed for work, and the amount of court-ordered alimony and child-support payments. The basic child support obligation is listed on the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations. A block in the schedule corresponds to the income level of the noncustodial parent (rounded to $10) and the number of children to be supported. The first parent’s net weekly income is multiplied by the basic child support obligation. This step is repeated for the other parent. The two calculations show each parent’s share. The court generally orders the noncustodial parent to pay the custodial parent the custodial parent’s share on a monthly basis. The court may deviate when non-custodial parent's share is paid Social Security dependency benefits on behalf of the supported child. The court adjusts support in a split custody situation.
Connecticut Child Support Guidelines and Worksheets:
Upon divorce in Connecticut , the Plaintiff (filing spouse) completes and files the Health Department Form, VS-63, which records the divorce with the Vital Records Office. If you wish to request a copy of a divorce record from the Vital Records Office, in can be done so for a fee and the turnaround time can be up to 6 weeks. The divorce record is used to show proof that a marriage is dissolved and contain additional information like the parties names, date of the divorce, and the Connecticut county in which it took place. A faster way to obtain proof of a divorce is going directly to the county clerk's office the divorce took place a request a divorce record if they have it on file or a copy of the Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) Judgment. Certified copies may also be available upon request for an additional fee.