Divorce Lawyer Bridgeport, CT
As your divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT from Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. knows, divorce can be an expensive and emotionally-fueled legal process. It isn’t uncommon to hear that people have spent thousands and thousands of dollars leading up to divorce finalization. Here is some insight that can help potentially reduce costs and maybe minimize some of the heartaches you feel, too.
What is a divorce and how does the process usually begin?
The lawful term for divorce in the State of Connecticut is “dissolution of marriage.” When it is filed in the appropriate Connecticut court, a problem for the dissolution of marital relationship commences a separation proceeding. A filed complaint need not allege for either spouse. “No-fault” premises for lawfully dissolving a marriage exist when (i) the marriage has broken down irretrievably; or (ii) the spouses have lived apart for a minimum of the 18 months immediately prior to the date of declaring their incompatibility, and also there is no affordable prospect of reconciliation. If fault is affirmed and confirmed, marriage fault may influence the financial award that will be determined in court. The fault-based grounds for divorce typically consist of the following characteristics:
- Fraudulent contract
- Willful desertion for one year with total neglect of duty
- Seven years’ absence, during all of which period the absent party has not been heard from
- Habitual intemperance
- Intolerable cruelty
- Life imprisonment or conviction of an infamous felony involving violation of conjugal duty
- Legal confinement for mental illness during five of the most recent six years
Choose The Right Approach
You may decide between a collaborative, mediation, or arbitration divorce, which can help you prevent the costs of a prolonged and drawn-out battle. Your lawyer can speak with you about the factors of your divorce and suggest which path will yield the best results. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer as soon as you know divorce is on the horizon. It’s ideal to consult with legal representation sooner rather than later, so your best interests are always protected.
As your CT divorce lawyer in Bridgeport can explain, in a collaborative divorce, each spouse agrees to establish an agreement that is reasonably beneficial for each side. The couple chooses to enter the divorce process being open and willing to cooperate together.
With a mediation approach, a neutral third-party assists the couple in working through issues to arrive at a solution. A mediator is an unbiased person who is trained to help negotiations go smoothly. While the mediator is not a therapist, they do understand the emotional nuances of divorce. The mediator does not make any decisions for the parting spouses, but instead gently coaxes them in the direction of meeting in the middle on various divorce settlement topics.
Arbitration may occur when a couple has reached a stalemate in their negotiations and prefer to resolve their problems outside of court. By definition, divorce arbitration is a type of divorce trial, and some couples prefer this because it is handled in a private setting and not in a public courtroom.
The Benefits Of Divorce Arbitration Include:
- Divorcing spouses can choose the arbitrator who will decide the outcome
- Divorcing spouses have the option to choose an arbitrator with certain experience in that area of law (real estate value, taxes, property division, parental rights, and visitation, etc.)
- Spouses can request certain issues to be handled by the arbitrator
- Spouses can relax into a private, less formal, and confidential setting
- Spouses can choose the location, time, and day of the hearing
4 Ways Personal Injuries Can Affect Your Life
If you were in an accident and walked away not realizing the extent of the damage, this incident still could have lasting effects on you and how you live your life. Learning about how personal injuries can change how you react to situations or how they can impair your physical health is important.
1. Different Cognitive State
In the time after an accident, you may notice yourself forgetting what you were going to say next in conversations or feeling confused at random points in the day. Sometimes, people around you can tell that something is wrong because of how you reply to them or the sound of your voice. You may seem disoriented or confused, which is a problem that can grow as time goes on. Talking to a personal injury lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, like Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, PC may help you.
2. Physical Complications
Immediately after an accident, you may be able to stand up and move without much noticeable pain. However, once the adrenaline wears off from the crash or accident, you could find yourself feeling different and struggling to complete tasks you once could do with ease.
Whether that is lifting your child up in the air or driving your car, you could notice a slow but steady change in how physically capable you are. Discussing this problem with a personal injury lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, could be a step you want to take.
3. Psychological Issues
If you find yourself replaying the moments before or during the accident that happened in your mind repeatedly, you may be struggling with the lasting emotional and psychological effects of a personal injury. These issues can often cause a state of depression or continual anxiety, and you may not be able to drive or do the same activities you did before.
It can become tough to get a full night’s sleep, and that lasting insomnia can leave you feeling drained as time goes on. Talking about this with a personal injury lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, like Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, PC, may help.
4. Sensory Problems
Being able to touch hot or cold surfaces and feel the temperature of all of them is an important sense. In some cases, you may notice your taste, sight or hearing can be changed after a personal injury. Even partial loss of these senses can leave you feeling frustrated and tired. Describing these symptoms to a personal injury lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, may help you choose what to do next.
Reasons To Consider A Prenuptial Agreement
One way to avoid the potential messy battles of a divorce is to sign a prenuptial agreement before you are even married. Prenuptial agreements are often associated with the wealthy. While it is true that some wealthy people chose to enter prenuptial agreements, the reality is that more and more couples who are not wealthy make sure they have a prenup in place before they exchange their vows. The best place to start to determine if you should have a prenuptial agreement is with a divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT.
The most common reasons why couples choose a prenup:
One Spouse Is A Business Owner
If a couple decides to get married and one partner is a business owner, they may want to protect their business in the event of a divorce, because business assets earned during the course of a marriage are considered marital property. For instance, if a small business was only worth a few thousand dollars before the marriage, but worth $4 million 10 years later at the time of divorce, essentially all of the business is marital property. And, because the business cannot be chopped up and sold just for the other partner to get their fair share of the marital property, they will either become a partial owner or they will end up with the majority of the other marital property.
Moreover, the value of a business is difficult to determine. The other party’s attorney may overvalue the business, leaving the business owner with even less of the other marital property. While the non-business owner is awarded the house, vehicles, furniture, bank accounts, and investments, the other spouse could only be left with the business, which may technically be worth a fair amount, but it would have to be sold to pay for a new home.
If one of the spouses has a large amount of debt, their credit will negatively impact the credit score of the other spouse once they are married and have joint credit cards. A Bridgeport, CT divorce lawyer can put a clause in the prenup stating that credit scores must be checked frequently, the marriage will not have any joint credit cards or shared bank accounts, and other measures that will protect one spouse from the poor credit (and debt collectors) from the other.
Even more important to consider than credit is debt. While debt from before the marriage remains the debt of each spouse, debt incurred during the marriage becomes both of the spouse’s debt. Student loans, car loans, mortgages, credit card debt, and all other forms of secured and unsecured loans become marital property.
One Or Both Spouses Have Children From Prior Relationships
While the divorce rate for first-time marriages is high, the rate for second and subsequent marriages is even higher. If a spouse has children from a prior relationship, their Bridgeport, CT divorce lawyer can draw up a prenuptial agreement that will guarantee that whatever assets and property they have prior to the marriage will be protected for their children’s future should the marriage not work out.
What’s The Average Time-Frame For A Divorce?
Unfortunately, the average time frame for a divorce to be completed from start to finish can vary case-by-case. At a minimum, a divorce case will take 4 months to process in CT and this is assuming that both parties are willing and there are no extra issues that may need to be addressed (such as deciding who gets child custody). For more complicated cases, the entire process can take up to 18 months.
Sometimes having a lawyer at your side is the best method in handling disagreements when seeking a divorce. However, mediation can sometimes be an option if the arguments are minor such as the allocation of certain assets. For more complicated matters such as child custody, the assistance of a lawyer is often recommended.
No-Fault Versus Fault Divorce
In CT there is both no-fault and fault divorce. No-fault divorce implies that neither spouse is necessarily responsible for the decline/breakage of the marriage, but that–nevertheless–the marriage has been broken down to the point where there’s no chance of any reconciliation. On the other hand, fault divorce implies that one spouse’s actions/behaviors have deliberately caused the marriage to fall apart. Some common reasons for fault divorce may include:
- Lying about their criminal history
- Willingly deserting their spouse for a year or more
- Drugs or alcohol abuse that leads to problems such as poor handling of finances or mental or physical abuse.
- Being imprisoned for specific crimes.
- Becoming confined in a mental hospital for an extended period of time.
The main advantage of fault divorce is that it can lessen the time period needed for separation before ultimately finalizing the divorce. The main disadvantages are, however, that it can be hard to prove that the other party is guilty of a fault divorce and can also be an expensive process.
What Are The Costs Of Divorce?
You will need to pay a fee of $350 in order to file a complaint coupled with a $50 service fee for the court papers. If children are involved you’ll also need to pay a required $125 parenting education class. Depending upon your circumstances there could be extra fees involved as well. For example, if you’re unable to locate your spouse for whatever reasons you may have to get a notice published in the newspaper.
Lastly, your fees for lawyers, mediators, or other expert parties may vary. The average cost range for a divorce lawyer in Connecticut is between $200 – $700 an hour. Additionally, they may ask for a retainer which can be as little as $1000 or may jump as high as $30,000, but that’s generally only for more complicated cases.
How Arbitration, Mediation, And Collaborative Divorce Different?
Arbitration, mediation, and collaborative divorce are all alternative dispute resolution options available to you and your spouse in lieu of divorce litigation. On the surface, they may seem very similar to one another. A divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, at Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, PC can explain the differences to you and help you decide which is most appropriate for your situation. Here is an overview of each.
Arbitration is a process that looks very similar to litigation. It is less formal than court proceedings but still has an impartial third party called an arbitrator who listens to both sides and renders a decision. This is similar to the role a judge plays in court. Arbitration gives you more control over the process than litigation would because you can schedule your own time and choose your own arbitrator. Arbitration does not become a part of the public record, offering you more privacy, and you usually get a decision more quickly.
Collaborative divorce is less concerned about provisions of the law and more focused on a process of problem-solving in which all parties strive for what is best for all members of the family. It is the most recent process and is designed to be the least adversarial. Unlike arbitration, there is no third party who presides over collaborative divorce and renders a decision. You and your spouse each hire your own divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, and work together to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
During the collaborative process, you may also work with other professionals, such as financial planners, psychologists, and divorce coaches. All parties sign an agreement committing to the collaborative process. You and your spouse pledge to seek out new representation if the process fails.
Mediation has some aspects in common with both arbitration and collaborative divorce. Like collaborative divorce, it is less formal, less adversarial, and more concerned with coming to an agreement acceptable to all parties than with the provisions of law. On the other hand, mediation is similar to arbitration in that an objective third party proceeds over each. However, unlike an arbitrator, a mediator does not have decision-making power. Rather than rendering a judgment, as an arbitrator does, the role of a mediator is to facilitate discussion between you and your spouse and keep it on track so that you can reach your own agreement.
Most people are more satisfied with the outcomes of divorces using alternative dispute resolution, perhaps because they have more say in the process. A divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, from Willinger, Willinger & Bucci can help you with the process no matter which method you choose.
When a marriage is ended by two spouses, a court will then be responsible for delegating how custody of the couple’s minor children will be divided. In the process of determining the specificity of the custody agreement, both physical and legal components of the agreement will be examined separately. The custody agreement process will also determine in court whether one parent should have sole custody or whether both parents should agree to joint custody of their minor children. A divorce lawyer will play a major role in the face of the sometimes challenging and emotional child custody agreement process.
Physical Custody Vs. Legal Custody
A Bridgeport, Connecticut divorce lawyer from Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. will represent you through every step of the child custody process and will help you understand the inherent intricacies of the process.
When the child will live with the parent who will have custody, they have what is called “physical custody”. Physical custody can be considered sole, or joint, which is usually determined by the physical amount of time the child will spend with each parent, and the proximity of each parent to the other. When a court decides sole physical custody for a single parent, in most cases the other parent will have some degree of visitation rights with the child or children in question.
When a parent retains both the right and responsibility to make important decisions about the upbringing of a child they are said to have legal custody. Legal custody is in most cases awarded to both parents jointly – which enables each parent to participate in the aspects of the child’s life; aspects such as education, religious affiliation, and medical treatment. In most cases, when a parent is found to be in violation of a joint legal custody order of the court there will be legal consequences. Such consequences involve returning to court to request that the judge enforce the custody arrangement that is in question, which is both costly and disruptive for children and their parents.
Call Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C.
For assistance with your divorce proceeding and other family law matters, contact our law firm promptly. We are well-versed in handling the delicate matters that divorce brings. Call a divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, Connecticut from Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. now.
No one enters into a marriage thinking that it will end in divorce, but sadly, sometimes that is the case. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing a divorce lawyer, it is important to choose the right one.
A divorce lawyer Bridgeport, CT residents recommend, can guide you through the process, help negotiate a fair settlement, and represent you in court if necessary. So if you’re contemplating divorce, don’t wait – call Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. today.
What is a divorce lawyer?
When a couple decides to get a divorce, they go through a lot of tough times. One of the things they have to deal with is figuring out how to split their belongings and money. This is where a divorce lawyer Bridgeport comes in.
A divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT helps the couple figure out what they are entitled to and how to divide their possessions fairly. They also help with negotiations between the two parties and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. If you are getting divorced, it is important to have a good divorce lawyer on your side.
What should I look for when choosing a divorce lawyer?
When you are looking for a divorce lawyer, there are several things you should keep in mind. First of all, make sure that the lawyer has experience with family law cases. You also want to make sure that the lawyer is trustworthy and will fight for what is best for you. It is important to feel comfortable talking to your lawyer and be able to trust them with sensitive information. Finally, make sure that the divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT’s fees are reasonable.
What should I expect from my divorce lawyer?
Your divorce lawyer Bridgeport, CT will help you through the entire divorce process, from start to finish. They will advise you on what steps to take and will represent you in court if necessary. They should also keep you updated on what is happening in your case and advise you on how to proceed. They will also help negotiate agreements with your spouse’s lawyer, if applicable. Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. will be there to support you emotionally during this difficult time.
How long does it take to get divorced?
The length of time that it takes to get divorced varies depending on where you live and the type of divorce you are getting. An uncontested divorce can be completed in as little as 30 days, but a contested divorce may take several months or even years to complete. A good rule of thumb is that it will take anywhere from six months to two years for your divorce to be finalized (but this is just an estimate).
Why hire Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. as your divorce lawyer
Divorce is one of the most difficult things that can happen to anyone. It’s not just about splitting up assets and figuring out child custody, it’s also about your mental health and well-being. Our divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT will listen carefully to your concerns and work hard on your behalf. You won’t find another firm that cares more about their clients than Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. Contact us today for a free consultation!
“Bradd Robbins is a thoughtful, practical, and skilled lawyer. He, with the strong team of paralegals behind him, have helped us with contracts regarding real estate to intellectual property. We would use them again and highly recommend.”