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Connecticut Family Law

Connecticut Family Law

Connecticut Family Law: A Comprehensive Guide

Family law is a branch of law that focuses on legal issues pertaining to family relations. These issues can range from adoption, child custody, divorce, and spousal support to prenuptial agreements, property settlements, and more. All these issues are governed by state laws that may vary from one state to another. In Connecticut, the term “family law” refers to a set of legal rules and regulations that determine how the state handles family-related cases.

Connecticut Family Law: An Overview

Family law in Connecticut comprises a broad array of legal topics, including divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, surrogacy, and more. It is worth noting that the laws governingfamily law in Connecticut have undergone numerous changes in recent years. For instance, the Connecticut Legislature has enacted several laws aimed at protecting the rights of same-sex couples and their children and streamlining the adoption process.

As such, the state of Connecticut has some of the most progressive family laws in the country. Whether you are in the process of adopting a child, getting a divorce, or seeking child custody, understanding the nuances of Connecticut family law can help you make informed decisions.

Divorce in Connecticut

Divorce can be an emotional and difficult time for any family. In Connecticut, there are two main types of divorce: fault-based and no-fault. A fault-based divorce, as the name suggests, is granted on the basis of some misconduct on the part of one spouse, such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment. A no-fault divorce, on the other hand, does not require either spouse to prove fault. Instead, either spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”

Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in Connecticut, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least 12 months prior to the filing of the divorce complaint. In addition, the divorce must be filed in the Superior Court of the county where either the petitioner (the spouse filing for divorce) or the respondent (the other spouse) resides.

Property Division

In Connecticut, marital property (i.e., property acquired by either spouse during the marriage) is subject to “equitable distribution” upon divorce. This means that the court will divide marital property in a fair and just manner based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, and the earning capacity of each spouse.

Child Custody

Child custody is arguably the most contentious issue in most divorce cases. In Connecticut, child custody can be either physical or legal. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, while legal custody refers to the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, education, and healthcare.

In determining child custody, the court considers several factors, including the child’s age, the wishes of both parents, the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s educational and healthcare needs, and any evidence of domestic violence or abuse. Connecticut law emphasizes the importance of shared parental responsibility, which means that both parents should be involved in decision making for the child.

Child Support

Child support is a financial obligation that one or both parents owe to support their child or children. In Connecticut, child support is determined based on several factors, such as the income of both parents, the child’s needs, and the custody arrangement. The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines provide a formula for calculating child support based on the parents’ income and other relevant factors.

It is important to note that child support in Connecticut typically continues until the child reaches the age of majority (18) or is emancipated. However, in some cases, child support may continue beyond age 18, such as when the child has special needs or is still in high school.

Adoption in Connecticut

Adoption is a legal process that allows an adult or couple to become the legal parent(s) of a child who is not biologically theirs. Adoption in Connecticut is governed by the Connecticut Adoption Act and is administered by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

There are several types of adoption in Connecticut, including agency adoption, private adoption, and foster care adoption. In agency adoption, the adoptive parents work with a licensed adoption agency that handles all aspects of the adoption process. Private adoption involves the adoption of a child by someone known to the adoptive parents, such as a relative or a friend. Foster care adoption occurs when a child who is in state custody is adopted by a foster parent or family.

To adopt a child in Connecticut, the adoptive parents must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being over 18 years of age, being of good moral character, and being able to provide a stable home for the child. The adoption process involves several steps, such as completing a home study, obtaining legal clearance, and attending court hearings.

Surrogacy in Connecticut

Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction where a woman, known as a surrogate, carries and delivers a child for another person or couple. Surrogacy in Connecticut is permitted under certain conditions. For instance, Connecticut law allows gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the child she carries.

In Connecticut, surrogacy agreements are valid and enforceable, provided they meet certain statutory requirements. The agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and must contain certain provisions regarding the rights and responsibilities of the surrogate mother, the intended parents, and the child. The agreement must also be entered into voluntarily, without coercion or undue influence.

Domestic Partnership in Connecticut

A domestic partnership is a legal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a domestic life, but are not married. In Connecticut, there is no specific law that governs domestic partnerships. However, same-sex couples can establish a legal relationship known as a civil union. A civil union in Connecticut provides many of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, including property rights, inheritance rights, and the right to make medical decisions for one’s partner.


Connecticut family law is a complex area of law that covers a wide range of issues. Understanding the nuances of Connecticut family law can help you make informed decisions about matters that affect your family. If you are facing any family law issues, it is essential to seek the advice of a qualified family law attorney, who can provide guidance and representation throughout the legal process. With its progressive laws and strong emphasis on shared parental responsibility, Connecticut is a state that values and protects families.

Guide to Connecticut Family Law

Changes to families in Connecticut are handled not by civil or criminal courts, but by CT family law courts.  If your family is undergoing changes, it is important for you to understand how Connecticut family law may affect your case.  This guide will provide you with a basic overview of several areas of CT family law.  If you need legal advice or representation for a specific case, you may want to consult a Connecticut family law attorney.

Connecticut Family Law and Divorce

The most common kind of case in CT family law is a divorce or dissolution of marriage.  In Connecticut, couples may divorce without either party alleging fault.  Connecticut family law also allows couples to come to a divorce settlement, which most couples elect to do instead of taking their case to trial.  In some situations, a judge in CT family law court may order a couple into mediation so that they can reach a settlement about any items under dispute in their divorce case.

In general, Connecticut family law requires the marital property of divorcing spouses to be divided equitably.  However, a valid pre-nuptial agreement can void the requirement of equitable division if a different type of division is specified.  You may want to contact a CT family law attorney if you need to protect your assets with a pre-nuptial agreement before walking down the aisle.

Connecticut Family Law and Adoption

More families than ever are choosing to expand their family through adoption.  If you want to adopt, you will need to hire a CT family law attorney to help you through the process.  Connecticut family law requires that your family undergo an extensive home study, background check, medical examination, and fingerprinting before you will be allowed to adopt.  The home study will include an inspection of your house or apartment as well as interviews with all household members.

Connecticut Family Law and Child Support

Child support is determined by the income shares model, according to CT family law.  Under the income shares model, your net income and the income of your child’s other parent will be added together.  Based on this total income number, Connecticut family law charts will determine the total support obligation for your child.  You will be obligated to pay support based on the amount of time you have custody of your child and the percentage of the total income that is earned by you.

CT family law allows harsh penalties for parents who refuse to pay their court ordered child support payments.  If you do not pay your child support obligations, Connecticut family law allows the state to have your wages garnished or income tax refunds confiscated.  Even if you live outside the state, child support payments can be enforced across state lines.

Connecticut Family Law and Paternity

CT family law requires men to establish paternity in court if they are not married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth.  Until paternity is established, an unmarried mother will have sole custody rights to her child.  Courts may order paternity testing to prove or disprove paternity in order to seek child support or terminate parental responsibilities.