A quicker resolution to a complex issue: Speeding up the divorce process in Connecticut

For Connecticut residents who wish to divorce and have no kids, no need for alimony, and no real arguments about the split, a recent bill may help speed up the divorce process. On Tuesday, May 12, the state House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow judges to enter a divorce decree in non-adversarial divorces that meet certain conditions. The Senate had already approved the measure. These conditions include:

  • The marriage must be less than eight years old,
  • There must be no children and no spouse can be pregnant; and
  • The total value of property must not exceed $35,000.

In these rather limited circumstances, it makes sense that divorce should be quick. While the dissolution of a marriage is always difficult, there can be relatively fewer financial issues at stake when the couple is recently married and have no children.

However, most Connecticut couples who divorce would not meet these criteria. Most married couples either own a home together, have had children together, or may not agree on the numerous complex issues that can be present in a divorce.

That does not mean that a more complex divorce is destined to last years and cost the life savings of the couple. It is possible to navigate Connecticut's current divorce system without breaking the bank, provided each party to the divorce is willing to work towards a resolution that satisfies the interests of both parties involved while minimizing costs.

Mediation in divorce

Often, the best way to reduce the time and expense of divorce is through mediation. Mediation uses a neutral third party to conduct negotiations, with each side aided by an attorney. Through this process, the divorcing couple can often agree to a majority or all of the issues present in divorce without going to court.

For example, one ex-spouse may wish to keep and live in the marital home, while the other would prefer to keep as much of a 401(k) as possible. These issues could be worked out prior to appearing in court, lowering the cost and time needed to resolve issues.

Litigation does not necessarily mean a contentious divorce

Even if mediation is not possible, as long as a goal of each party to the divorce is to resolve issues with a reasonable amount of time and expense, it is possible to move forward with efficiency. For those who need it, however, aggressive litigation in divorce can protect financial and parental rights, which is important with so much at stake. While litigation can be more expensive short-term, in the long-term protecting the right to receive alimony, a portion of retirement benefits, and other financial considerations can be well worth the immediate cost.

An experienced advocate can help

Divorce is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. A divorce should be tailored to the needs and goals of the individuals going through it. If appropriate, this can include cost-saving measures such as mediation.

For help with your divorce or questions about how to begin mediation, contact The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC.