Connecticut is a “no fault” state, which means that either party of a marriage can unilaterally decide to dissolve the marriage for any reason. Compare this state of affairs with the previous situation. In a fault-based system, the party seeking to dissolve the marriage must bring forth a legitimate reason as to why the divorce should be granted. Common reasons cited in a fault-based system are infidelity, abandonment, poverty, and so forth. However, even though Connecticut may be a no fault system, marital dissolution in this state can still be a fairly complex process. Part of the complexity of divorce in Connecticut stems from the two types of divorce processes: contested and uncontested.
In this post, we will give a brief rundown on the difference between contested and uncontested divorces. As we will see, both contested and uncontested divorces present many complex issues. Readers who need assistance should contact the Apex Law Firm.
What is Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties reach an agreement on certain fundamental aspects of the separation. This doesn’t speak to anything regarding the underlying reasons or motivations of the divorce itself, only that both parties agree on certain points concerning their separation. Furthermore, in an uncontested divorce, the court accepts the agreement which has been reached by the parties.
The parties of a divorce must reach an agreement on the following issues: (1) division of property, (2) child support, (3) child custody and parenting, (4) plan for visitation, and (5) spousal support. Needless to say, developing an agreement on all these points is far from easy. This is why many divorces are not uncontested. What’s more, very few uncontested divorces are achieved without the assistance of expert support, including divorce attorneys. In some cases, parties may have a partial uncontested divorce, which means that they are able to develop an agreement on a certain number of these issues, but not all. In those cases, the court will step in and fill the gaps.
What is Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce, by contrast, is one in which the parties aren’t able to reach an agreement regarding this vital issues of the separation. Contested divorces happen a lot, because people often have difficulty reaching an agreement on sensitive issues, such as visitation and parenting. Often, one party wants to play a dominant role in a child’s development, but the same is true for the other parent; when this happens, it is necessary for the court to step in and provide an objective, fair assessment of the situation.
Courts in Connecticut will attempt to take a balanced view, weighing the competing interests of the parties, and also focusing their analysis on certain key factors. For instance, courts will look at the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the circumstances of the marriage, the individual incomes of the parties, causes of the breakdown, and other factors when ruling on property division. When the court rules on child custody, the court may look at other factors, including the lifestyles of the parties, the needs of the child, the incomes of the parties, and so forth.
Contact an Experienced Connecticut Divorce Attorney to Learn More
As you can see, whether a divorce be either contested or uncontested is a very important determination, because these different processes carry very different implications. In many ways, it’s in your interests to develop an uncontested divorce, but this is much easier said than done. If you’re contemplating a divorce, reach out to an expert to assistance; a qualified divorce attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Call the Apex Law Firm today at 860-900-0900 for more information.