Not everyone can get divorced in the state of Connecticut. There are some qualifications that you need to meet in order to file divorce and have it granted in Connecticut. On this page, I will discuss the requirements that you need if you want a divorce granted by Connecticut courts.
In order to get divorced in Connecticut, you need to be a resident for at least 12 months prior to initiating the divorce. You can begin the divorce process before this 12 month mark, but a court won’t grant the divorce until both parties have resided in Connecticut for at least 12 months. There is a statute about the residential requirements, but you could still file the divorce and get certain orders in place before the residential requirement is met. So, you can’t bring it the divorce to conclusion, but you can file it and get interim orders.
The court will wait until this 12 month period occurs. I recently had a case where a client needed to have 12 months under her belt. Both spouses had relocated to Connecticut. So we filed the divorce, we got interim orders, and then once 12 months passed we went to judgment even though we settled it earlier. The court couldn’t entertain it until that period passed. So they could file the divorce, they just couldn’t finish it.
Custody and Residency
Custody issues are more complicated. There is a law called the UCCJEA, the Uniform Custodial Judgment Enforcement Act. Most states are parties to this law. It acts as a treaty amongst the states to prevent one spouse from taking the children out of the state and filing for divorce there.
In the past, you would sometimes see the spouse with financial dominance picking up and moving the kids out of state. Let’s say one spouse would move to Las Vegas and they filed a divorce action with the kids. The spouse that was the stay-at-home party would not have the financial means to follow their spouse and children to Las Vegas. This would create custody issues if the spouse that relocated filed for divorce. So courts now with regards to custody can say, “What is the home jurisdiction of the child?” And so if this happened, in this situation, the Nevada court would say, “Wait a second, the children lived in Connecticut up until a week ago, now you’re coming here to file? Connecticut is the proper forum, we’re not granting a divorce in Nevada.” So now, one spouse cannot take advantage of the other spouse’s financial situation in this way.
Filing Your Divorce
If you have residency questions, or other questions about eligibility for a Connecticut divorce, I am happy to answer them. Just contact my office and we can discuss your questions and situation.