The act of getting married creates a legal bond between two people and the only way to sever this bond is to petition for a divorce decree (a.k.a. dissolution of marriage) in a Fairfield County Family Court. However, parties cannot simply appear in court and obtain a divorce. Even if both spouses agree on all the terms of a divorce, it is still necessary to prepare various documents, including an agreement and financial statements, and attend court sessions to finalize the process with a judge.
Divorces in Greenwich can take on many forms. The simplest occurs when the two people have no shared children and are able to agree about the division of assets. Cases can quickly become more complicated as there are more and/or complex assets to divide, if one party demands alimony, and arrangements must be made for the care, custody and support of children.
A Greenwich divorce lawyer could help you navigate the complex and often emotional divorce process. Working with a lawyer can help you ensure compliance with the court’s rules and prepare you for life after divorce.
Both parties to a marriage have certain rights under the law. These rights include the ability to claim an equitable distribution of property, establish / retain custody over children, establish a parenting schedule and demand alimony or other forms of support. A final divorce decree must address and resolve all such rights and other concerns when parties raise questions during the case.
Perhaps the most visible issue in divorces is the distribution of property. Courts in Connecticut use a concept called equitable distribution to divide property and assets during a divorce. This means that the court will attempt to place both parties on an equitable (but not necessarily equal) financial footing at the conclusion of the divorce. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, and it is essential to be able to make a powerful case for why either spouse should retain control of certain assets and/or how certain assets should be allocated between the divorcing spouses.
Another common point of contention in divorces is the custody and care of children. Under Connecticut General Statute §46b-56, courts must make these decisions guided by the Best Interests of the child at heart. However, given divorcing parents often cannot agree on what is actually in the Best Interests of their child(ren) (especially during the crucible of a divorce case), parents often must deal with parenting and custody issues as part of divorce case. A Greenwich divorce attorney could help spouses identify their goals and to form strategies to fight for those goals during a divorce.
Divorces have a reputation as being emotional battles where the two former spouses fight over every part of the case. However, it is worth remembering that a divorce is not dissimilar to other civil cases where two parties dispute rights to property, income and other legal rights. As a result, many parties to a divorce may stand to benefit from alternative forms of dispute resolution, especially those that view the process as a complex transaction to be cooperatively figured out, as opposed to a war to be waged.
One of the simplest ways to avoid extraneous conflict is to enter into a separation agreement before notifying the court of the intent to divorce. According to CT Gen. Stat. §46b-44a, parties may submit a signed separation agreement to the court along with their petition for divorce. So long as this agreement meets the legal criteria, the court will set a date to enter the agreement into the record no more than 30 days after receipt. If both spouses agree on exactly how their divorce should be finalized, the entire process may only take a few months.
It is also possible to work towards a separation agreement after one party files for divorce on their own. Courts generally encourage people to attempt to settle their differences and may offer mediation services in an attempt to help the parties to find common ground. A Greenwich divorce attorney could represent the interests of individuals during settlement talks and draft separation agreements that conform to the relevant legal requirements. Our firm also offers mediation and other alternative dispute resolution. These services can often help divorcing couples resolve their disputes cooperatively.
A Greenwich divorce lawyer may be able to help you establish your right over marital property, form equitable child custody arrangements, alimony, and your future after divorce. If it is your plan to fight for your rights in court, a lawyer can help to make convincing arguments to a judge. If you believe that you and your former spouse can come to an agreement, our team could help to facilitate a settlement that protects your best interests. Contact us today to see how we might be able to help you.