Experienced Darien Divorce Attorney Offering Connecticut Family Law Support
Navigating a dissolution of marriage in Connecticut requires time, money, effort, and a thick skin. Closing one chapter of your life and moving forward to the next is never easy, but when you work with a divorce attorney in Darien, you can increase the chances that the outcome of your separation will be successful.
Here’s what you need to know and how a Darien divorce attorney is your best resource during this difficult time.
Who Needs a Darien, CT Divorce Lawyer?
Family legal issues are sensitive matters, regardless of which side of the fence you’re on. Whether you’re vying for sole custody of your child for their best interests or are concerned that you’ll lose your right to marital property or alimony, it’s important that you have legal support specifically in your corner.
A Darien family law firm can provide you with the support you need when you need it, helping you to navigate through the difficult process of dissolving your marriage. The Superior Court of the State of Connecticut, Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk at Stamford serves the town of Darien, and your lawyer can assist you with communicating with court officials regarding your case.
Reach Out to a Darien Divorce Attorney for Help With Child Custody, Support, Alimony, and More
A Darien, CT law firm can do more than just assist you with the divorce process. If you need help with child custody, child support, visitation, alimony and spousal support, or other family legal issues, a Darien divorce attorney can still support you.
A contested divorce is one in which you and your spouse do not agree on one or more issues related to your Darien dissolution of marriage. There are generally two options for handling these types of cases: via mediation if you and your spouse are still on speaking terms, or divorce litigation if you simply cannot reach any consensus.
An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse do agree on all issues related to your separation. In these cases, you and your spouse’s attorneys can draft a divorce decree that you both sign and send it to a Darien family court for review and finalization. This process tends to be much easier, faster, and less expensive than a contested divorce.
Child custody issues are some of the most difficult and emotionally charged matters in Connecticut divorce cases. State superior courts consider the child’s best interests first and foremost in all child custody matters, and determining what is and isn’t in those interests is often a lengthy and complicated process.
Advocating for your child as a parent going through a divorce is challenging, and you deserve the support and backing of an experienced Fairfield County divorce lawyer. Heidi Opinsky can help you navigate the family legal system and pursue the best possible outcome for your child and you.
There are a few different types of visitation that can be awarded to the non-custodial parent in a child custody case depending on circumstances. For example, the non-custodial parent may be awarded nearly 50% parenting time in a nearly equal joint custody agreement. Or, the custodial parent may only be awarded every other weekend. If the non-custodial parent struggles with alcohol or drug addiction, they may only be allowed supervised visitation.
The state of Connecticut understands the importance that having a meaningful relationship with both parents has for a child’s development, however, they will make decisions regarding visitation with the child’s best interests in mind. If the child will not benefit or will be harmed by one type of visitation but not another, the court will likely choose the best option for the child with all factors considered.
Although less personal than child custody, child support is no less of an impassioned family law matter. Custodial parents are often concerned about making sure they get enough support to provide for their child, while non-custodial parents may fear that a Connecticut court will order them to pay more support than they can afford.
Regardless of which side you are on, the key to a successful outcome is a solid foundation of legal advocacy. Your Darien divorce lawyer will zealously fight for a decision in your best interests.
Modification of Support
Often, financial situations change, warranting a modification to the original child support order. This can be contentious, because often, a modification is brought about by either the payor making more or less money. If the payor is making more money, the recipient may bring forth evidence to request additional support. If the payor is making less, they may bring forth their own evidence to request that their support be lowered.
Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is another common divorce issue that requires the help of an experienced family law attorney. In cases where one spouse earns less than the other and will not be able to independently financially support themselves, a Connecticut divorce court may order the higher earning spouse to pay alimony for a period of time following the dissolution of marriage.
There are a few different types of alimony in Connecticut:
- Temporary (pendente lite) alimony. Temporary alimony or spousal support is generally awarded on an emergency basis at the beginning of a divorce. This support is intended to provide financially for the lesser-earning spouse during the course of the divorce, however long it may last. Typically, temporary alimony in Darien, CT will end at the time the finalized divorce decree is issued by the judge overseeing the case. At this time, alimony will either be discontinued entirely, or ordered on a rehabilitative or permanent basis.
- Rehabilitative (short-term) alimony. Rehabilitative alimony, also called short-term alimony or spousal maintenance, is generally awarded when the divorce is finalized and for a specified period of time. However, if the lesser earning spouse is able to financially provide for themselves sooner than this date or gets remarried, the payor can request a hearing for alimony to be discontinued.
- Permanent alimony. Permanent alimony is infrequently awarded and is rarely actually permanent. The most common cases where the court may order permanent alimony is if the lesser earning spouse is disabled and cannot be expected to gain vocational or life skills to provide for themselves at any point. However, even permanent alimony can end if the lesser earning spouse remarries.
Property division in Connecticut is quite different from most other states in the U.S. Connecticut does not differentiate between marital property or separate property, although it does adhere to the law of equitable distribution. It’s considered an “all property” state, and any property that the couple owns at the time of divorce is up for allocation between the two parties. Equitable distribution means that a court will do its best to split property fairly, but not necessarily equally.
The exception to this is if you have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and how it designates the division of property, if applicable. For example, if you have a prenuptial agreement that states one spouse gets the marital home in the event of a divorce, the court will typically adhere to the designations set forth in the prenup or postnup.
Legal paternity must be established in child custody and support cases where two unmarried parents are separating. In a few cases, married couples may want to establish legal paternity. A child’s father may not exercise visitation rights and a child’s mother may not request child support from the alleged father until the child’s biological paternity is confirmed. At-home paternity tests are insufficient and legal tests must be done by an approved lab.
Exploring a Fairfield County Divorce? Contact Our Darien Family Law Firm Now
Dealing with the emotional and financial fallout of dissolving your marriage is difficult enough without having to navigate Connecticut divorce law on your own. Darien divorce lawyer Heidi E. Opinsky has the experience needed to help you advocate for your family’s best interests during this difficult time.
Call now to speak to a divorce lawyer in Connecticut at 203-653-3542.
Our Darien, CT law firm also provides service to the following neighborhoods and nearby areas: Tokeneke, Noroton, Noroton Heights, Rowayton, South Norwalk, New Canaan, Springdale, Glenbrook, Ridgeway, Stamford, and more.
About Darien, Connecticut
Darien, CT is a beautiful town on the East coast located on Long Island Sound, just a mere 37 miles outside the heart of New York City. Even though it’s just 13 miles square, it has a population of 21,000 residents.
It’s considered the smallest city on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, and is proud to be a part of the “Sustainable Fairfield County” initiative — one of ten Fairfield County towns that have organized to raise awareness and create opportunities for environmental sustainability. Other cities in the Sustainable Fairfield County group include Greenwich, Easton, Fairfield, Norwalk, New Canaan, Trumbull, Westport, Weston, and Wilton.
Here in Darien, you’ll find popular places to visit, like:
- Woodland Park
- Baker Park
- Tilley Pond Park
- Weed Beach
- Baker Park
- Pear Tree Point Beach Park
- The Country Club of Darien
- Wee Burn Country Club
- Woodway Country Club
- Noroton Yacht Club
- Darien Boat Club
- Goodwives River
Darien, Connecticut has plenty to offer both residents and visitors.