CONNECTICUT DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
CONNECTICUT 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Connecticut. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Connecticut divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your divorce in Connecticut in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Connecticut and how to do your own divorce in Connecticut . Also, If you have any questions try visiting our Connecticut Divorce Online Help Center .
Online Divorce FAQ: Connecticut
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Connecticut.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Connecticut?
Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Can I File for Divorce in Connecticut?
Connecticut has two basic requirements to file for divorce (known as “dissolution of marriage”) in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage.
What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Connecticut?
You may start the divorce process in Connecticut as long as either you or your spouse has established a residence in the state. But you must meet one of the following additional residency requirements before you may get your final divorce in Connecticut:
- you or your spouse lived in Connecticut for a year before you filed for divorce or by the time the judge signs your divorce decree
- at least one of you had a permanent home in Connecticut when you were married, then left the state but moved back by the filing date, or
- the cause of your divorce (more on that below) happened after you moved to Connecticut.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Connecticut?
Connecticut allows both “no-fault” and “fault-based” divorces. In a no-fault divorce, you don’t have to prove that your spouse’s misconduct caused your marriage to fail—which can make your divorce cost more and take longer. Connecticut offers two no-fault grounds (legal reasons) for divorce:
- the marriage has broken down irretrievably, meaning there’s no reasonable chance of fixing it, or
- the spouses have lived apart for 18 months because they’re incompatible, and there’s no reasonable prospect that they’ll get back together.
The easiest option for an uncontested divorce—and the one most divorcing couples in Connecticut choose—is to declare that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.
Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in Connecticut?
Many Connecticut residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
- how to divide their property and debts
- alimony, and
- child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
You may use Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree that your marriage has broken down permanently, and you meet the state’s residency requirement. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement (or “dissolution agreement”), signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation.
If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Connecticut If I Have Children?
You can usually use Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as the two of you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ unless the affected child or children meets the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Connecticut with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 46b-115a(7), 46b-115k (2022).)
How Will My Online Divorce in Connecticut Deal With Child Support?
In Connecticut, both parents have an obligation to support their minor children (as well as children who are 18 years old and still in high school, or who can’t support themselves because of a disability). And like all states, Connecticut has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Connecticut Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will review your agreement to determine if the amount of support is in your children’s best interests and meets the criteria for departing from the guidelines.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Connecticut is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that there has been a substantial change in either parent’s circumstances, or that the original support amount was substantially different than the amount under the child support guideline (and there wasn’t a specific finding that the guideline amount would be unfair or inappropriate). A judge will conduct a hearing and review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order.If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own, but you’ll still need to have a judge approve the modification. You can ask for help with a modification from Connecticut’s Support Enforcement Services.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Connecticut 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
- selling the house and splitting the proceeds
- transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
- continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Connecticut 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset.
Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Connecticut?
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Connecticut divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: which spouse will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Connecticut?
Once you have your completed forms, your next step will be to take the papers to the Superior Court Clerk's office in the judicial district where you or your spouse lives.
Connecticut has a somewhat unusual procedure in that the court clerk won’t officially file the paperwork right away. Instead, the clerk will sign a summons, help you pick a “return date” (the official starting date of your case, which should be at least four weeks in the future), and give you back the forms so that you can deliver them to your spouse (either by serving the papers formally or having your spouse sign a waiver of service). Then, you’ll go back to court to file the paperwork. (Learn more about the process of filing for divorce in Connecticut.)
How Much Is Connecticut’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
Generally, you’ll have to pay a court fee to file your divorce papers ($360 as of 2022).
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, you can apply for a waiver of the court fees in a divorce case. You’ll need to provide detailed information about your income, expenses, assets, and debts.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Connecticut?
Generally, Connecticut has a 90-day waiting period before you can schedule a hearing on your final divorce. But that 90-day period starts with the return date, which is usually a month after you started the process by bringing your divorce papers to the court.
In some cases, you might be able to request a shorter waiting time, but you have to wait at least 30 days after the return date before you may file a formal request. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-67 (2022).)
How Can I Get More Help With Connecticut Online Divorce?
Connecticut 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Connecticut Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Connecticut law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.