Typically, people enter a marriage with the anticipation that it will endure for the rest of their lives, however this does not always happen and some people must get a divorce. Regardless of whether a couple whose marriage is ending has an amicable or contentious relationship, it is prudent for each party to be represented by an attorney adept at handling divorces. Kevin L. Hoffkins is a seasoned Westport divorce attorney, and if you are facing the end of your marital relationship, he can advise you of your rights and help you pursue a favorable and efficient dissolution of your marriage. He routinely represents parties in divorce actions in Westport and in other cities in Fairfield and New Haven Counties.Seeking a Divorce Under Connecticut Law
In order to obtain a divorce under Connecticut law, parties must first meet the residency requirement. Specifically, the filing party must show that either they or their spouse lived in Connecticut for at least twelve months before the divorce petition is filed, the grounds for dissolving the marriage arose after either party moved into Connecticut, or either party was domiciled in Connecticut at the time of the marriage and returned with the intent to stay there permanently before the divorce complaint was filed.
Most Connecticut divorces begin with the filing of a complaint for divorce. Connecticut allows people to seek a divorce on no-fault or fault-based grounds. In a no-fault divorce, the filing spouse will allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken down. Fault-based grounds include adultery, intolerable cruelty, fraudulent contract, willful desertion for at least a year, a sentence to life in prison or conviction of certain crimes, and legal confinement in a hospital due to mental illness for at least five of the six years before the filing of the divorce complaint. Proving that any of these things are true can be very difficult. Westport divorce attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins can help you make sure you can prove each element of these claims.
Previously under Connecticut law, the courts could not grant a divorce until a minimum of 90 days had passed from the filing of the complaint. However, in some uncontested cases, the ninety day requirement can be waived. If certain requirements are met, parties may be able to file a joint petition for non-adversarial dissolution of marriage, which typically allows them to end their marriage in a more expedient manner. The court will set a disposition date within thirty days of the filing of the petition and will typically enter a divorce decree within five days of that date. An experienced attorney like Westport Divorce Attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins can help you get your uncontested divorce done quickly.
Among other things, the parties must show that the marriage did not last longer than nine years, neither party is pregnant, and they do not have any children together. They must meet certain criteria with regard to property, debt, and retirement plans as well. Parties seeking a non-adversarial dissolution of marriage waive their right to a trial, spousal support, or an appeal. They can submit a settlement agreement to the court for review and approval, and if the court finds it to be equitable and fair, it will incorporate it into the divorce decree.Dividing Assets and Liabilities in Connecticut Divorces
Unlike most states, in Connecticut, all property owned by either spouse is considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution by the courts. This does not necessarily mean that such assets or liabilities will be divided equally, however. Instead, the court will determine what distribution between the parties is fair based on an assessment of several factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's economic situation, and what each party contributed to the marriage or to the other party's education or career. A court may also weigh whether it is better for either party to retain an asset independently and whether either spouse purposely diminished marital property after the divorce action was filed. A skilled divorce attorney like Westport Divorce attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins will be necessary to present a strong case on each of these elements to help you obtain a fair property distribution.Speak With an Experienced Connecticut Divorce Attorney
The end of a marriage not only impacts people emotionally, but it can also greatly affect their financial and legal rights. If you or your spouse intend to seek a divorce, it is critical to speak to an attorney to discuss what steps you can take to protect your rights. Experienced Westport divorce attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins is adept at helping people seek legal dissolutions of their marriages, and if he represents you, he will work tirelessly to help you seek a successful result. Mr. Hoffkins has an office in Westport, and he frequently represents people in divorce cases in Norwalk and in cities throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties. You can reach him to schedule a consultation through our online form or by calling us at (203) 612-7015.