Step 5: Figuring out the big issues
The marital property will be divided equitably during a divorce as Connecticut is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that the property is divided according to what is considered fair rather than equally.
In deciding the property division, the court will consider the following factors such as the duration of the marriage, reasons for dissolution of the marriage, annulment or legal separation, age, occupation, station, health, sources and amount of income, employability, vocational skills, estate and needs and liabilities of each of the spouses and the opportunity of each spouse for the acquisition of income and capital assets in the future. The court will also consider each spouse’s contribution to the preservation, acquisition or appreciation in the value of their individual estates.
While entering the divorce decree, the court may order one of the spouses to pay alimony to the other spouse. And, in deciding whether alimony should be paid, the amount and duration of the alimony, the court will hear the witness of each spouse, consider the duration of the marriage, the reasons for the dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment, the age, station, occupation, health, sources and amount of income, employability, vocational skills, needs and estate of each spouse, parent to whom the custody of the children has been given and the desirability of the custodial parent in getting an employment.
If there are minor children involved, and if both parents are unable to agree about the issues related to the children, then the court will decide the custody order as per its own discretion.
With respect to child custody or visitation, the court will decide on basis of:
- The best interests of the child, considering the child’s wishes in case he/she is sufficiently old and is capable of making a rational and intelligent decision.
- The court may consider the causes for the divorce or legal separation if they are relevant to determining the best interests of the child.
- It will consider if the spouses completed the parenting education program satisfactorily.
In Connecticut, the Income Shares Model is used to calculate child support. And, the court will consider various factors while determining the amount of child support such as the age, station, occupation, health, sources and amount of income, earning capacity, employability and vocational skills of each parent and the age, station, occupation, health, educational status and expectations, sources and amount of income, employability, vocational skills, needs and estate of the child.