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Connecticut Residency Requirements
A decree dissolving a marriage or granting a legal separation may be entered if: (1) One of the parties to the marriage has been a resident of this state for at least the twelve months next preceding the date of the filing of the complaint or next preceding the date of the decree; or (2) one of the parties was domiciled in this state at the time of the marriage and returned to this state with the intention of permanently remaining before the filing of the complaint; or (3) the cause for the dissolution of the marriage arose after either party moved into this state. For the purposes of this section, any person who has served or is serving with the armed forces, as defined by section 27-103, or the Merchant Marine, and who was a resident of this state at the time of his or her entry shall be deemed to have continuously resided in this state during the time he or she has served or is serving with the armed forces or Merchant Marine. The Dissolution of Marriage is typically filed with in county in which the filing spouse lives. (Connecticut General Statutes - Title 46b - Chapter 44)
Connecticut Divorce Grounds:
(1) The marriage has broken down irretrievably; (2) 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. (Connecticut General Statutes - Title 46b - Chapter 40)
Connecticut Property and Debt Division
The court shall consider the following factors in determining the appropriate property distribution award: 1. length of the marriage, 2. the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, 3. the age, 4. health, 5. occupation, 6. amount and sources of income, 7. vocational skills, 8. employability, 9. estate, 10. liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. The court shall also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates. (Connecticut General Statutes - Title 46b - Chapter 81)
Connecticut Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
At the time of entering the decree, the Superior Court may order either of the parties to pay alimony to the other, in addition to or along with an award. In determining whether alimony shall be awarded, and the duration and amount of the award, the court shall hear the witnesses, if any, of each party, and shall consider: 1. the length of the marriage, 2. the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, 3. the age, 4. health, 5. occupation, 6. amount and sources of income, 7. vocational skills, 8. employability, 9. estate and needs of each of the parties and the award, in the case of a parent to whom the custody of minor children has been awarded, the desirability of such parent's securing employment. (Connecticut General Statutes - Title 46b - Chapters 82 and 86)
Connecticut Custody and Visitation:
In making or modifying any order with respect to custody or visitation, the court shall (a) be guided by the best interests of the child, giving consideration to the wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capable of forming an intelligent preference, provided in making the initial order the court may take into consideration the causes for dissolution of the marriage or legal separation if such causes are relevant in a determination of the best interests of the child, and (b) consider whether the party satisfactorily completed participation in a parenting education program established pursuant to section 46b-69b. There shall be a presumption, affecting the burden of proof, that joint custody is in the best interests of a minor child where the parents have agreed to an award of joint custody or so agree in open court at a hearing for the purpose of determining the custody of the minor child or children of the marriage. If the court declines to enter an order awarding joint custody, the court shall state in its decision the reasons for denial of an award of joint custody. (Connecticut General Statutes - Title 46b - Chapter 56 and 84)
Connecticut Child Support:
In determining whether a child is in need of maintenance and, if in need, the respective abilities of the parents to provide such maintenance and the amount thereof, the court shall consider the age, health, station, occupation, earning capacity, amount and sources of income, estate, vocational skills and employability of each of the parents, and the age, health, station, occupation, educational status and expectation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of the child. (Connecticut General Statutes - Title 46b - Chapter 84)
How Do I Know if I Should File in Connecticut?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.
If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.
If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
How Much Are the Connecticut Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in Connecticut?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local county courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from county to county and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in Connecticut?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in Connecticut?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.
Connecticut Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Connecticut divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.Connecticut Divorce Forms List
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A total of 51 people have started their divorce through 3StepDivorceTM in the last 24 hours and 868 in the last 10 days. The streamlined and user-friendly process, instant document delivery, and unlimited free support makes us the go-to solution to do your own divorce. Our simple and inexpensive process provides you with all your completed divorce papers in as little as 20 minutes. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times.
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Connecticut. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Connecticut divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your divorce in Connecticut in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Connecticut and how to do your own divorce in Connecticut . Also, If you have any questions try visiting our Connecticut Divorce Online Help Center .
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Connecticut.
Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Connecticut has two basic requirements to file for divorce (known as “dissolution of marriage”) in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage.
You may start the divorce process in Connecticut as long as either you or your spouse has established a residence in the state. But you must meet one of the following additional residency requirements before you may get your final divorce in Connecticut:
Connecticut allows both “no-fault” and “fault-based” divorces. In a no-fault divorce, you don’t have to prove that your spouse’s misconduct caused your marriage to fail—which can make your divorce cost more and take longer. Connecticut offers two no-fault grounds (legal reasons) for divorce:
The easiest option for an uncontested divorce—and the one most divorcing couples in Connecticut choose—is to declare that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.
Many Connecticut residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
You may use Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree that your marriage has broken down permanently, and you meet the state’s residency requirement. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement (or “dissolution agreement”), signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation.
If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
You can usually use Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as the two of you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ unless the affected child or children meets the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Connecticut with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 46b-115a(7), 46b-115k (2022).)
In Connecticut, both parents have an obligation to support their minor children (as well as children who are 18 years old and still in high school, or who can’t support themselves because of a disability). And like all states, Connecticut has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Connecticut Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will review your agreement to determine if the amount of support is in your children’s best interests and meets the criteria for departing from the guidelines.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
After your divorce in Connecticut is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that there has been a substantial change in either parent’s circumstances, or that the original support amount was substantially different than the amount under the child support guideline (and there wasn’t a specific finding that the guideline amount would be unfair or inappropriate). A judge will conduct a hearing and review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order.If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own, but you’ll still need to have a judge approve the modification. You can ask for help with a modification from Connecticut’s Support Enforcement Services.
When you fill out your questionnaire for Connecticut 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
In your Connecticut 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset.
Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Connecticut divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: which spouse will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
Once you have your completed forms, your next step will be to take the papers to the Superior Court Clerk's office in the judicial district where you or your spouse lives.
Connecticut has a somewhat unusual procedure in that the court clerk won’t officially file the paperwork right away. Instead, the clerk will sign a summons, help you pick a “return date” (the official starting date of your case, which should be at least four weeks in the future), and give you back the forms so that you can deliver them to your spouse (either by serving the papers formally or having your spouse sign a waiver of service). Then, you’ll go back to court to file the paperwork. (Learn more about the process of filing for divorce in Connecticut.)
Generally, you’ll have to pay a court fee to file your divorce papers ($360 as of 2022).
If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, you can apply for a waiver of the court fees in a divorce case. You’ll need to provide detailed information about your income, expenses, assets, and debts.
Generally, Connecticut has a 90-day waiting period before you can schedule a hearing on your final divorce. But that 90-day period starts with the return date, which is usually a month after you started the process by bringing your divorce papers to the court.
In some cases, you might be able to request a shorter waiting time, but you have to wait at least 30 days after the return date before you may file a formal request. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-67 (2022).)
Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Connecticut Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Connecticut law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.
3StepDivorce TM is a premium online divorce solution, a sister company of Divorce Source, the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.
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