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DIY Online Divorce in Connecticut

Connecticut does not offer a summary or simplified divorce option, but its no-fault and uncontested divorce process may ease the bitterness and frustration of divorce.

Connecticut Grounds for Divorce

Connecticut grounds fro divorce include no-fault, which means incompatibility or living separate and apart for 18 months without cohabitation, and eight traditional fault grounds. The no-fault grounds are most commonly used for uncontested divorces in Connecticut.

Connecticut Residency for Filing

A divorce in Connectcut may be granted when 1) one of the parties to the marriage resides in the state for at least a year before the filing or "the next preceding the date of the decree"; or 2) one spouse lived in the state during the marriage and returned with the intention of remaining; or 3) the cause for the dissolution of the marriage arose after either party moved into the state. Service personnel and members of the Merchant Marine who are residents at the time of his or her entry are considered residents.

Connecticut Divorce Process

The action begins when the plaintiff completes the Summons Family Actions (form number JD-FM-3), and the Divorce Complaint/Cross Complaint (form number JD-FM-159). Attached to the Complaint is the Notice of Automatic Orders (JD-FM-158) and the Affidavit Concerning Children (JD-FM-164), if there are children involved.

Connecticut online divorce process The plaintiff files the divorce papers and pays a filing fee. The court clerk assigns a return date. The plaintiff gives the papers to the state marshal and pays another fee to have the papers served. The state marshal serves the paperwork to the defendant. An indigent plaintiff can seek a waiver of the filing and revise fees by completing a form, which is reviewed by the court.

After the defendant has been served, the marshal completes the Return of Service, which is proof that the papers were served. The plaintiff mails or brings the Return of Service and all of the original paperwork to the clerk's office along with the filing fee.

The spouses each complete and exchange Financial Affidavits (JD-FM-6) within 30 days of the Return Date. The form requires the inclusion of all income and expenses and all assets and debts. Here is more information regarding the process of filing uncontested divorce papers in Connecticut.

The dissolution (divorce) takes a minimum of about three to four months; a contested action may take much longer. The court sets two dates when a Complaint is filed. The first is the return date, which is at least four weeks away to give the defendant a chance to answer the Complaint, or file a Cross Complaint, or simply enter a pro se appearance. The second date is the case management date, which is at least 90 days after the return date; it is the earliest date a divorce can be finalized.

The court takes no action before the case management date so that the spouses have some time to settle issues out of court. Couples with children must also complete a court-approved parenting education program within 60 days of the return date. The parties wait at least 90 days after the Return Date for a Judgment of Divorce.

During this waiting period, they work on an agreement about custody of the children and financial issues, and they document any agreement in the Dissolution Agreement (JD-FM-172) form or a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA).

During the waiting period, the plaintiff completes a Case Management Agreement/Order (JD-FM-163), and sends it to the clerk's office. If the defendant has filed an Appearance Form, he or she also needs to sign the Case Management Agreement form before it is sent to the Clerk's office. The Case Management Agreement form is important because the parties choose an actual divorce hearing date and they appear in court on that date. If they can't agree on a divorce date and have not filed a Case Management Agreement, then they must come to court on the Case Management Date, and the judge will set a hearing date. Learn the best ways to save money when doing your own divorce in Connecticut.

Do It Yourself Online Divorce in Connecticut

Our online divorce makes it easy to file your own divorce in the state of Connecticut. In as little as 20 minutes you can have all your completed divorce forms and filing instructions ready for signing and filing. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times. See if you qualify below:

Dividing Property Upon Divorce in Connecticut

The court accepts any fair and reasonable property division that the spouses reach by agreement.

Connecticut is an equitable division, all property ("kitchen sink") state. The courts have jurisdiction over all the property that both spouses have, marital and separate.

In dividing property, the court classifies assets and liabilities as marital or separate, then places a value on assets and debts, and then makes an assignment. In dividing property, the court considers the parties' age and health, contributions to the marriage and economic circumstances and tax consequences. Normally, the court values assets and liabilities at the time they are divided but the court may select any valuation date.

Before the court can divide the community property, it distinguishes it from any separate property owned independently. Generally, separate property is property owned before marriage. Under some circumstances, it also includes property acquired during marriage, like a gift, an inheritance, or a personal-injury award.

Property acquired from the date of the marriage through the date of separation is marital property and subject to distribution. Property each spouse owned before the marriage or acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance is separate. Gifts and inheritances used to benefit both spouses as a married couple become marital property. Separate property mixed with marital property becomes marital. Untainted separate property obtained before or during the marriage remains immune to distribution. The separate property includes, but is not limited to, gifts and inheritances.

Although Connecticut courts may look to all assets in the division of property, judges typically award spouses their separate property, unless it would be inequitable or unfair to do so under the circumstances of a particular case. To establish an asset as separate property, it must remain under the control of the spouse claiming it. Property combined with joint property for the benefit of both spouses becomes marital. In Connecticut, the appreciation in the value of separate property is marital property.

As in other jurisdictions, divorcing couples normally sell the marital home and divide the profits, or sell the home to one party and refinance, or the custodial parent occupies the house until the last child leaves school and then sell it.

Retirement benefits are marital property when the worker meets all the requirements for payout. This is called vested. They are either Defined Contribution Plans (DC), such as a 401(k), or Defined Benefit Plans (DB), which is the company pension. That part of a pension accumulated during a marriage is community property and subject to distribution. When spouses share in each other's pension plan, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be prepared. The QDRO spells out the terms and conditions of the pension distribution.

Once handed down, a Connecticut property division order cannot be modified unless there are "exceptional and compelling" circumstances for the sake of "fairness and justice."

Connecticut Alimony and Spousal Support

Connecticut courts grant alimony on a case-by-case basis; alimony is never guaranteed. The court considers the circumstances of the spouses and the length of the marriage. Courts may consider whether either spouse is at fault in determining whether to grant alimony, its amount and duration.

The court may order either spouse to pay alimony. Unlike most jurisdictions, Connecticut courts consider marital fault when deciding alimony.

Alimony influences how the marital property distribution is awarded, and it can become a very intricate part of the divorce. The court decides the duration of support, but either party may request modification or termination at any time based on provable change of circumstances. These changes range from the payor's ability to pay to the recipient's need. In Connecticut, support can influence property distribution, and it can become a very intricate part of the outcome of any divorce.

In Connecticut, court may award three types of alimony: temporary, (alimony pendente lite), awarded during the divorce proceedings and before the final decree; short- term, awarded to allow the recipient time to gain necessary skills; long-term or permanent, granted to a spouse who has significant needs, usually reserved for lengthy marriages where the receiving spouse is at a disadvantage in the job market.

Determination of alimony is not part of the property-division process. The amount and duration of payments depends on factors such as age and health, but also on how he or she contributed to the marriage - including the contribution of a homemaker - and what his or her obligations will be after divorce.

Connecticut considers a number of factors in awarding alimony, including "estate and needs of each of the parties and, in the case of a parent to whom the custody of minor children has been awarded, the desirability of such parent's securing employment."

Any award for alimony must be just and equitable, so the court can't ignore a spouses' ability to pay. In accounting for both spouses' financial conditions, the court can order alimony in lump sum payments or to be made on a schedule.

Connecticut Child Custody and Visitation

In Connecticut, the best interest of the child is the primary concern in child custody and that can mean joint or sole custody. Connecticut expresses a preference for both parents to share as equally as practically as possible in the custody of a child. Joint custody gives both parents equal right and responsibilities.

When parents disagree about custody, the court decides custody of the child. Courts permit a variety of custody regimes, but all in support of the best interests of the child.

Divorcing parents with minor children may be required to complete a parenting class unless the court waives requirement. Children in Between may be taken online on a home computer.

Sometimes a third party, such as grandparents, may be awarded custody when the court determines that both parents are detrimental to the best interests of the child. If the court determines that the biological parents are detrimental (for example, the parents are sex offenders), they may be granted supervised visitation.

Courts enjoy wide latitude in determining visitation. The court may order supervised visitation when the court has reservations about the child's safety with one parent alone.

Calculating and Paying Connecticut Child Support

Connecticut utilizes a percentage of income formula that determines the amount of child support as a percentage of the income of the parent obligated to pay the child support. This percentage factors the number of children requiring support. These percentages are based on the gross monthly income of the parent paying child support: one child, 18 percent; 2 children, 25 percent; 3 children, 29 percent; 4 children, 31percent; and for each additional child, an additional 2 percent, but the total will not exceed more than $500 per child per month.

Sometimes, after calculating support, courts permit adjustments up or down that are called deviation factors. Courts may consider extraordinary expenses, independent income, seasonal fluctuation in parents' income, special needs as well "any other reason that should be considered to make child support more equitable." Likewise, extraordinary expenses can be either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment paid by the noncustodial parent, or a deduction, where it is subtracted.

Extraordinary expenses can be either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment paid by the noncustodial parent, or a deduction, where it is subtracted.

A parent may be ordered to include a child on medical insurance, particularly when the visiting parent receives health insurance.

Courts order temporary child support during custody and support actions, and either parent may be order to pay.

Connecticut Child Support Guidelines and Worksheets:

Connecticut Service of Process for Divorce

Unlike most states, process servers must be licensed, and the license fee is currently one of the most expensive states in the nation to get a process server license. They must be at least 21, and/or have over two-years experience.

In Connecticut divorce cases, personal service is preferred, which means delivery to the defendant personally, or by leaving the divorce papers at his or her house with some person of suitable age and discretion, or by delivering a copy of the Summons and Complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive process. The divorce papers are also mailed to his or her residence.

Courts permit Service by Publication when the defendant lives out of the state, or conceals himself or herself, or cannot be found after due diligence. The court issues an order permitting service by publication, which directs the publication in a newspaper, published in Connecticut, for a period of four weeks, and at least once a week during said time. After publication, the defendant has 20 days to appear and answer or otherwise plead. The service is complete after four weeks from the first publication, and in cases when the divorce papers are also mailed, at the expiration of four weeks from such deposit.

A Simple Divorce Process
Step 1 See if you qualify & create account!
Step 2 Answer the questions at your own pace.
Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court (instantly review & print your forms online or have them sent US Priority Mail at no additional charge).

START HERE

Only $299 (flat-fee)

or 2 monthly payments of $157
or 3 monthly payments of $109
or 4 monthly payments of $84
Payment Options Do Not Delay Divorce
Instant Delivery - Instant Changes
100% Guarantee of Court Approval
or Your Money Back
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Disclaimer: This is a quality non-lawyer self-help online divorce solution. The 3StepDivorceTM Documentation software and service is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. 3StepDivorce does not practice law and does not give out legal advice. This online divorce software and service allows you to represent yourself in doing your own divorce. If you need or desire legal representation, we recommend that you hire a lawyer. Click here to learn more. There may also be other pro se divorce options available by contacting your court.

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