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29 South Main Street, Suite 330 N, West Hartford, Connecticut 06107

Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce

Our attorney answers common queries about divorce and family law in Hartford, Connecticut

For more than 37 years, our lawyer at Carlo Forzani LLC has represented clients in hundreds of divorce and family law–related cases in Connecticut. Following are some of the most commonly asked questions we hear and our seasoned answers:

Consult a knowledgeable lawyer today with questions about the divorce process in Connecticut

Our team is here as a support and a resource for you. To learn more about divorce, or to initiate your own divorce, call Carlo Forzani LLC at 860-841-5808 or contact us online today. Our offices are based in Litchfield County, and we serve the greater Hartford area and the entire state.

Q: How do I file for divorce?

A: The action that initiates the divorce process is physically and legally filing for divorce. In order to do that, you must determine the grounds on which you wish to file and make sure you meet Connecticut’s residency requirements. An attorney can help you complete and file the required paperwork, at which point your spouse will be served with divorce papers.

Q: What are the grounds for divorce in Connecticut?

A: Connecticut offers both fault-based and no-fault grounds on which an individual can seek a divorce. No-fault grounds are the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage, while the fault-based grounds are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Fraud
  • Willful desertion
  • Prolonged absence
  • Cruel or inhuman treatment
  • Imprisonment or prolonged incarceration
  • Confinement in a mental institution
  • Habitual drug or alcohol abuse

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Q: Does Connecticut have no-fault divorce?

A: Yes. Connecticut grants couples divorces in which neither spouse is at fault when they have lived separately for at least 18 months and cite irreconcilable differences or the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage, or when they have been legally separated for 18 months and file paperwork to become legally divorced.

Q: Do we need a lawyer if we agree on everything in the divorce?

A: While you may agree on all the elements of your divorce, it is still prudent to consult an attorney to help look out for any unforeseen legal complications and ease the process along. If you and your spouse are committed to remaining amicable throughout your divorce, you may elect to approach it collaboratively or with mediation.

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Q: How is property divided, and what property is subject to division?

A: In Connecticut, all assets in a divorce are divided according to “equitable distribution” of property. All assets in a couple’s estate are subject to division, including the following:

  • Real estate and land
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • Investments
  • Retirement accounts
  • Business ventures
  • Bank accounts and cash
  • Debt

The only exceptions may be items specified in a premarital or post marital agreement.

Q: Should we consider mediation?

A: Mediation works best for couples who are committed to cooperating with each other throughout the divorce process — and the benefits tend to include fewer costs, less time and less stress. Highly contested assets or high levels of animosity are obstacles for many couples, and anyone dealing with these types of circumstances may wish to follow the traditional negotiation-and-litigation divorce process.

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Q: Does a mediator offer clients legal advice?

A: A mediator represents neither party, and is instead a neutral individual concerned with moving the divorce along fairly. He or she may provide legal information that is useful to both spouses, but for advice from a professional focused on your interests alone, you need to secure representation from your own personal attorney.

Q: How long does it typically take to complete a divorce?

A: It is difficult to estimate a time frame for a divorce, because so many different factors affect the length of time involved. Some divorce processes take only a few months, while others last for several years. In general, agreement and cooperation between spouses tends to speed the process along, while multiple issues that require court hearings will extend the time line.

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