The family law attorneys at Dolan Divorce Lawyers, PLLC understand the complex issues that accompany the breakdown of a marital relationship. Based on years of experience, we offer meaningful advice to ease our clients’ stress. Whenever possible, we try to resolve disputes through negotiation so that our clients will not endure the burden of a trial. When the other spouse refuses to take a reasonable position, however, we use our skill as trial attorneys and our familiarity with Connecticut judges to seek the best outcome in court.
We pride ourselves on the personal, caring attention that each client receives, and are regarded highly by our clients for our accessibility and approachability. We understand that our clients often come to us during the most challenging junctures of their lives. We are honored that our clients choose us to help them effectively navigate through these hardships. Nothing brings us more satisfaction than being there for our clients and getting them the results they deserve.
Our clients come to us at one of the most difficult points in their life. We are here to help you get through it.
He helped me through the process of getting the answers I needed answers to, cleared alot of questions I was unclear with, he gave me advise on how to negotiate with the other parent of my child, it was stressful at first and he was able to ease me out once I got in contact with him and through the process. Thank you so much Matt!
I worked with Matthew Dolan for the past few months on a post judgement modification related to a divorce case. When I first contacted Matt during a free phone consultation and explained my situation, he was very honest and understanding. This was the primary reason that I hired him. During the course of our case, he was always responsive to email communication and very accommodating such as the first time we met on a Saturday morning due to my busy work schedule. He did a great job at understanding what it was that I wanted and fought to get as much as we could. One more comment, people always say that its the small things that count and I agree with this wholeheartedly. I appreciate his interest in wanting to know how my time with my daughter went. These small comments really made me feel like he cared. I am very pleased to have worked with Matt and in the future should I require legal services, I will definitely reach out to him again.
The divorce process is started when a spouse or their attorney fills out a summons and a divorce complaint and has a state marshal serve these forms on the opposing spouse. Once the forms have been served on the opposing spouse, the party initiating the divorce must file these documents in the proper courthouse along with a document from the marshal certifying that the divorce forms were correctly served. The initial divorce forms must be filed in a courthouse within the judicial district where either one of the spouses resides. The courthouse where the case is filed will generally remain the courthouse where the divorce case is litigated, though there are certain exceptions to this rule.
Hiring an attorney to represent you during a divorce is advisable but not necessary. If you decide to retain a lawyer, he or she will usually take care of preparing the initial court documents and ensuring they are properly served. Your qualified divorce attorney will also provide you with sound legal advice. Important decisions regarding children, money, property and health insurance are usually decided by a judge during the divorce process, and such decisions are not easily changed. With so much at stake, it is generally advisable to have a competent family lawyer who is looking out for your best interests.
For those who wish to represent themselves in their divorce case, the Connecticut Judicial Website www.jud.ct.gov provides detailed instructions on how to initiate divorce proceedings without an attorney.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is an allowance paid by one spouse to the other after the couple has divorced or legally separated. Alimony is designed to recognize the recipient spouse’s contribution to the marriage and is based on the premise that one spouse may have a continuing duty to financially support his or her former partner even after the marriage has ended. Alimony may be available to both male and female spouses depending on the situation.
Connecticut courts consider a number of different factors when determining whether to order alimony, and if so, the appropriate amount. Length of the marriage, the reason(s) for the divorce, and the health of each spouse are all taken into account when deciding questions related to alimony. Each spouse’s occupation, annual income, vocational skills and earning potential are also factors courts look to when awarding alimony.
Child support should not be confused with alimony. It refers to ongoing periodic payments meant to be used for the benefit of a child rather than the benefit of the spouse. Connecticut courts are extremely serious about enforcing child support obligations among parents. Because child support is for the benefit of the child, and not the opposing spouse, child support obligations cannot be waived by either parent. If you are a parent who fails to pay child support, your wages can be withheld, your driver’s and professional licenses can be suspended, and you can even be incarcerated until you satisfy your payment obligations.
In Connecticut, child support is calculated according to the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines. The Guidelines use the combined income of the mother and father and number of children to set a child support amount. After child support is set, it can be later modified as the parent’s income level changes.
The sooner you find a legal representation, the better. The legal advice you receive can help you avoid making very costly mistakes that could be used against you in the future in a divorce proceeding. Your lawyer can help guide you to make sure you properly document any evidence that comes up to ensure it’s validity in court.
The attorneys at Dolan Divorce Lawyers have experience representing both male and female clients at all different junctures of the divorce process. We understand that a divorce can be one of the most difficult periods of a person’s life, and we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the best possible representation during this tough time. If you are in the process of getting divorced, or feel that your marriage has broken down beyond all hope, call Dolan Divorce Lawyers to set up a free consultation and case evaluation.
Connecticut is known as a “no-fault” state, meaning either party can seek a divorce by merely stating that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably”, without having to prove either party was at fault. While a judge can consider facts surrounding the breakdown of the marriage in deciding how assets should be divided, whether there should be alimony, etc., typically the underlying respective fault of the parties is not given significant weight.
The same applies where the underlying cause of the breakdown is spousal infidelity. In such a case, if the parties are unable to settle their divorce in advance of the trial, a judge will hear evidence regarding claims of spousal infidelity, and depending on the nature of the case, the parties’ respective assets, and the egregiousness of the conduct, a judge may adjust aspects of the divorce judgment to account for considerations of fairness.
While there is no guaranteed time frame for a divorce, generally parties can anticipate that the process in Connecticut will take anywhere from three months to one year. Once the divorce is filed, there is a 90-day waiting period which takes effect before the parties are expected to appear in court for what is known as the “case management date.” The length of the divorce process will depend on the parties’ ability and desire to cooperate, and the complexities of the underlying issues. If the parties agree on the terms of the divorce and have the necessary paperwork ready, they can schedule a date to appear in court any time after the 90-day waiting period to finalize the divorce. If the parties are in agreement on all issues and anxious to finalize the divorce immediately, they can ask the court to waive the 90-day waiting period and get an expedited court date.
While there is no standard advice on how to emotionally prepare for a divorce, there are certain practical steps a person can take to prepare themselves to get through the divorce process. First, educate yourself on the court process and, considering the complexity of your case, decide whether you want to navigate the process alone or hire an attorney. If you are unsure which way to go, contact a law firm specializing in family law, and request a consultation. Second, each party will need to account for their finances. Make a list of assets/account balances, and think through any current or anticipated liabilities and expenses. Neither party should make any unordinary financial expenditures, asset purchases, or transfers if divorce is imminent. Finally, think about what your priorities and goals are with regard to how you would like to see the marriage resolved.
Absolutely! We offer free initial phone consultations. We know you might still need more time to digest everything, but we want to be there for you from the start to make sure you do not miss any deadlines and take all the proper actions to prevent jeopardizing your case. You can reach us at (203) 303-9371, or you can fill out the contact form below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.