Is it advantageous or disadvantageous to be the one to file for divorce?

The person who files a lawsuit is known as the Plaintiff in the case, while the person against whom the case is filed is known as the Defendant. The word “defendant” tends to carry with it a negative connotation. However, in family matters, the court makes neither positive nor negative assumptions about the person who files the case.  Therefore, it doesn’t matter which spouse files.

What grounds do I need to allege to divorce in Connecticut?

Connecticut has a “No Fault” divorce system, unlike some states where one must allege certain grounds (adultery, abandonment, etc.) in order to seek a divorce. In Connecticut, a spouse may simply allege that the marriage has broken down irretrievably with no chance of reconciliation.

How long does it take to get divorced in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, there is a ninety (90) day waiting period, known as a “cooling off period.” Therefore, when adding time for service of the legal documents and the return of process, the earliest a couple can divorce is approximately four months, but it could take over a year depending upon the issues involved and the motivations of the parties.

Do I need an attorney?

The legal system does not require that you have an attorney represent you in a divorce action. However, both the divorce process and end result will likely prove to be more favorable with an attorney’s advice.  If you choose to represent yourself in a divorce, you will be referred to as a “pro se” party. It is not uncommon, and highly advisable, for pro se parties to seek legal counsel from a lawyer either as advisory counsel, a mediator or collaborative counsel.

What is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce?

The legal process is essentially the same whether a couple seeks a legal separation or divorce. The difference lies in the end result. While in both proceedings the parties will end up with a Settlement Agreement and/or Court Order delineating their rights and responsibilities, at the end of a divorce, the parties are no longer married. In a legal separation, the parties remain married.