Contested Divorce v. Uncontested Divorce v. Limited Contested Divorce in Connecticut
A fully contested divorce may include disputes over custody, visitation, property division and family support. The contest may be over one, several or all issues. The parties may engage in discovery over financial issues or even with respect to their parenting abilities and personal histories. If custody or visitation is disputed, studies may be conducted by court officers and/or private experts retained by each party. If finances are in dispute, expert appraisers and forensic accountants may be engaged by each party. Multiple court hearings, with both lawyers “on the clock”, may take place on matters such as temporary custody, visitation, alimony and child support. Depositions are often taken of both parties and other persons relevant to the litigation. Finally, a contested trial takes place with witnesses and experts testifying, leading to a decision on the contested issues by a Judge. An uncontested divorce is one in which all issues have been agreed upon by the parties. The parties reduce their agreement to writing and it is presented to a Judge at the final hearing. An uncontested divorce can be achieved by the parties working on their own or through mediators and collaborative lawyers as well as lawyers working in the traditional context. Often times, cases which are contested on one or more issues end up being uncontested when the parties settle after a period of adversarial litigation. In fact, the vast majority of divorce cases are settled by agreement. But what occurs in the course of litigation prior to the settlement can be damaging to the family relationships and resources. Connecticut adjudicates limited contested divorces when the only issues under dispute are financial and division of property. After a case management conference, the judge will counsel and issue orders.
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