Divorce Information

Your Rights & Obligations

Knowing your rights and obligations in the Divorce process is essential to protecting your financial security and parental rights. The selection of a qualified, experienced family law attorney to give you the advice that you will need to make the right choices is paramount in this process.

Judith Goldberg provides the highest quality legal representation. With over thirty years of experience as a courtroom advocate, she works very hard for her clients.  Until you and your spouse have resolved, through settlement, all issues relating to separating assets in the marital estate, allocating your debts, and disputes over access and custody of minor children, your divorce is a “contested divorce” and requires effective, strategic planning, and qualified legal representation.  Contact Judith Goldberg today for a consultation.

There are various types of divorce:  uncontested divorce, contested divorce and mediated divorce .

It is a requirement in Connecticut that the person seeking the divorce state the “grounds” for divorce in their Complaint that is filed with the Court. Divorces can be based on fault or what is commonly called the “no-fault” grounds.  A fault divorce is a divorce based on a spouse’s misconduct and essentially means that you have to prove that the other party did something bad, emotionally or physically abused you or committed adultery or abandoned you, in order to get a divorce.

In Connecticut, the “no-fault” grounds for divorce is that the marriage has broken down, and is not reconcilable.  In an uncontested divorce, where parties have an agreement with regard to all financial matters as well as parenting issues, if there are minor children, both spouses usually agree that the breakdown of the marriage is neither one of their faults and that counseling will not save the marriage.  Whether contested or uncontested, there are several areas that must be addressed in order to reach a final resolution such as child custody and parental time-sharing and support, if there are children, alimony or spousal maintenance if appropriate in your matter, the division of property and assets as well as who pays the debts and liabilities.

What Is A Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is one in which the spouses cannot agree on all or a portion of the terms of the divorce.  Settling is oftentimes difficult because the couple is unable to communicate effectively and/or compromise their positions, on issues such as the division of marital assets and property, how they will continue to parent their children and provide support for a child or a spouse in need of support, or how debt will be paid.  Sometimes a mediator can assist couples in communicating when they have difficulty communicating on their own or through their attorneys. If unable to reach a settlement on all relevant issues, the divorce must be heard and decided by a Judge.

Can Divorce Mediation Be A Good Alternative?

A Mediator can be used in lieu of having a Judge decide the issues in a divorce action.  Couples work together with a Mediator, who is an unbiased third party, to reach consensus and finalize the divorce details.  Mediation is frequently sought by couples “pre-suit” before a divorce action is started.  It is also a method used by parties during an ongoing divorce case when one or more limited issues such as custody or times haring with minor children have not been settled.  Couples may choose this type of dispute resolution to complete their divorce as a way to have more control, rather than have a Judge decide the outcome.  A Mediator can also assist you in filing court documents and help you and your spouse communicate so that you can reach a settlement agreement.  The mediated Agreement is presented to the Court for your uncontested divorce to be finalized.  You can decide with your spouse which approach to take to divorce, whether it is mediation or litigation.

Hiring A Divorce Attorney

Hiring a divorce attorney is your best option if you need legal protection from your spouse, legal advice, or if your spouse has already retained a lawyer.  It is also your best option if you are not able to or do not desire to communicate and negotiate directly with your spouse in a mediation setting.  Another reason to hire an attorney is if you have substantial financial assets, your spouse is self-employed and/or you do not know what your spouse’s assets are and there is likelihood that a careful and close review of past and present finances are likely.  A divorce attorney can engage in “discovery” and investigate your spouse’s assets.  An accurate identification of assets is key to reaching a fair settlement agreement.  Additionally, if you feel intimidated as the result of domestic violence, negotiating without a divorce lawyer is often an unsuccessful approach as you are not in an equal bargaining position.

Judith Goldberg, Attorney & Mediator.   Connect With Judith