Divorce & Family Law FAQ

After decades of practicing law, we find that clients often have similar questions. We've listed several of divorce and family law FAQs below:

How long does it generally take to get divorced?

It depends. If a couple can be flexible and put aside any anger or frustration, a divorce can be completed in a matter of months.

In the event that the parties have differing opinions on things such as custody and asset division, negotiations can take much longer. In rare circumstances, the case goes to trial. A divorce that goes to trial can take a very long time to resolve.

Does a divorce take less time if there are no children involved?

It can. If both parties are in agreement regarding asset distribution and spousal maintenance, a divorce without children can be finalized within months. If the parties cannot agree on these issues, a divorce can take much longer.

Is custody always 50-50?

In recent years, there has been a trend toward 50-50 custody. Sometimes it is in the best interest of the children, and sometimes it is not.

The key to co-parenting is being flexible and accommodating. So while some families opt for this kind of arrangement, for many it is not the right fit — either because it is difficult for the parents to navigate it, or their schedules preclude it (i.e., one parent travels often and unexpectedly for work).

Generally speaking, a couple can determine a custody arrangement that works for them. If they are unable, the court will determine the status of custody and the schedule.

How much will I pay in child support?

Connecticut has a very complicated and specific formula for apportioning child support payments. Much depends on your income, your spouse's and the type of custody arrangement that you have. Both parents incomes are factored into a formula based on Connecticut law.

In more traditional situations, the mother has the children the bulk of the time and would therefore more likely receive a larger child support payment. In families that have split custody, the child support payment will likely, though not necessarily, be less.

How are assets split?

Connecticut divides marital assets under the "equitable distribution" method. This means that assets are allocated to each party in a fair, but not necessarily equal, manner. The idea is to apportion property in such a way that each partner is left on solid financial footing.

Although most states have the distinction of "separate" property — for example, inheritance, gifts and premarital assets are often exempt from division during a divorce. In Connecticut, however, all property owned by the parties is considered part of the marital estate.

Can I get spousal maintenance?

Perhaps. Many factors determine whether a spouse will be awarded alimony. While Connecticut does allow for permanent spousal maintenance, a judge must outline the reasons for doing so.

The court must also consider up to 15 factors, including whether the party has worked during the duration of the marriage, marketable skills, the health of the party requesting maintenance and the reasons for ending the marriage.

Serious, Focused, Dedicated

The Law Office of Paul V. Carty is located in New Haven, and serves the surrounding areas. We understand that a divorce is a significant change for you and your family, and our attorneys endeavor to make the transition as easy as possible.

We offer free consultations. Our lawyers are serious, focused and dedicated, and have been serving Connecticut since 1985. Contact us today at 203-361-9810.