Divorce is one of the most emotionally difficult life events any person could go through, especially if children are involved. Many times there may be issues related to the division of property, alimony, child support, custody and visitation, and the enforcement of a pre or postnuptial agreement that comes up during a divorce case.
If you believe you are about to begin the divorce process, a Fairfield County divorce lawyer may be the advocate you need to help you achieve the best outcome possible. With legal counsel at your side, you can better understand your legal rights and options and be empowered to make informed decisions during divorce proceedings.
While there is no such thing as a typical divorce, spouses who go through the dissolution of marriage process could reasonably expect to confront one or more common issues.
Most divorce cases that a Fairfield County divorce lawyer handles often involve issues related to the division of marital property. The first step of this process if to identify the parties’ assets, then to value those assets, and then to determine an appropriate distribution of those assets among the two parties. If a divorcing couple cannot agree on how to divide their assets and liabilities, the court must divide the property based on the concept of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution does not mean that the property will be split evenly, but rather it will be disbursed fairly based on many factors set forth in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-81, including but not limited to the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, sources of income, employment, the estate of the parties, the needs of the parties, and the parties contributions to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in the value of their respective assets.
If a divorcing couple has children who are minors, the divorce decree must include detailed information regarding child custody and the custody plan must a child’s best interests. The couple is allowed to come up with a child custody arrangement on their own although it will be subject to court approval pursuant to the best interests of the child standard.
Child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by one parent to the other to help satisfy various childcare expenses. Parents are allowed to deviate from state child support guidelines but only in certain circumstances. If a parent believes it would be necessary to deviate from the state child support guidelines, it may be wise to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer in Fairfield County to determine whether such a deviation might be allowed in their case and what that deviation may look like.
It is relatively common these days for couples in Connecticut to enter into either a prenuptial contract before marriage or a postnuptial agreement after marriage. Both are legally enforceable types of documents detailing how assets and liabilities are to be split in the event of divorce or separation. A Fairfield County divorce lawyer could help a party determine whether such an agreement is enforceable under Connecticut law.
Much of the stress and expense associated with getting divorced can be reduced if both parties can agree to address most, if not all, of their differences through some form of alternative dispute resolution. These alternative proceedings take place outside of court and could be used to facilitate agreement in a time- and cost-effective manner. They are often less adversarial than courtroom proceedings and are effective at encouraging quick settlements.
A popular alternative to litigation for divorces in Fairfield County is mediation. Divorce mediation involves a trained neutral third party who facilitates discussion and helps divorcing couples reach agreement on a variety of issues. While mediation is not an effective tool for every divorce case, it may be helpful for those couples who are willing to enter into good faith negotiations with one another.
Divorce is too important to your future well-being for you to navigate the process entirely on your own. Additionally, if there are children involved, it is essential to consult a Fairfield County divorce lawyer from the very beginning of the divorce process. Reach out to legal counsel today to learn about your legal options and start developing a plan to move forward.