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Connecticut Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Connecticut divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
 
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
STATE PROCEDURES
Where do I file my divorce papers in Connecticut? 2647
In Connecticut, divorces are filed in the Superior Court Clerk's office.
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 2649
Yes. The spouse who filed for divorce (Plaintiff) is required to attend a brief court hearing. The non-filing spouse (Defendant) may attend if he or she wants, but is not required to attend.
What is considered to be the date of separation in Connecticut? 2651
Here the term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses decided to end the marriage with no intent to reconcile. This date is often a matter of interpretation. It is sometimes the date that the spouses stopped living together under the same roof, although in Connecticut, as long as the spouses consider the marriage over, do not intend to reconcile, and do not have a sexual relationship, they may seek a divorce even if they are living under the same roof.
What are the Connecticut residency requirements for filing for divorce? 2653
To file for divorce in Connecticut one of the following requirements must be met:
  1. One of the spouses has been a resident of Connecticut for at least the twelve (12) months immediately before filing the Complaint for Divorce or twelve (12) months before divorce will be finalized;
  2. A spouse lived in Connecticut at the time of the marriage, moved away, and then moved back to Connecticut with the intention of living there permanently before filing for divorce; or
  3. The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage happened after either spouse moved to Connecticut.
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Connecticut? 2654
The no-fault grounds for divorce in Connecticut is that there has been an irretreivably breakdown of the marriage, which means that there is no hope that the spouses will reconcile.
What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Connecticut? 2657
  1. The Plaintiff takes the initial divorce papers to the Superior Court Clerk's office so that the Clerk will issue a Summons.
  2. The Plaintiff has the state marshal serve the Defendant with the divorce papers and then the state marshal prepares a Return of Service to be filed with the Clerk.
  3. Plaintiff files the divorce papers with the Clerk and pays the filing fee.
  4. The spouses sign a few additional documents, which the Plaintiff files with the Clerk on the day the Plaintiff attends a brief divorce hearing. The Judge will sign the divorce once 90 days has passed from the Return Date.
How much is the filing fee in Connecticut? 2658
The filing fee charged by the Court is NOT included in the DivorceWriter price. The filing fee is typically $300.00 in Connecticut.
What documents are included in the self-prepared Connecticut DivorceWriter package? 2659
  • Summons
  • Divorce Complaint
  • Notice of Automatic Court Orders
  • Case Management Agreement
  • Financial Affidavit (Petitioner)
  • Financial Affidavit (Respondent)
  • Affidavit Concerning Military Service
  • Dissolution Agreement
  • Dissolution of Marriage Report
  • Dissolution of Marriage Judgment
How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Connecticut? 2660
The total time to finalize the divorce is usually around four months. You must wait 90 days from the "Return Date," which is the official starting date of your case after the State Marshal makes service on the Defendant and returns the served papers to the Clerk prior to the Return Date.
How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in Connecticut? 2661
When your spouse (Defendant) lives in Connecticut, he or she must be served by a Connecticut State Marshal in the judicial district where he or she lives or works. A list of State Marshals is available at the Clerk's office. Plaintiff is responsible for providing the State Marshal with a copy of the documents to be served on the Defendant. Plaintiff must also pay the fee for the State Marshal's services. The State Marshal will file a proof of service with the Clerk asfter the Defendant has been served. If your spouse lives in another state, you will have to serve your spouse by certified or registered mail, or by contacting a process server or other person authorized to perform service in the state and county where your spouse lives.
Can I change my name in Connecticut divorce proceedings? 2663
In Connecticut, either spouse may request to take back a former or maiden name as part of the divorce proceedings.
Does Connecticut require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? 2665
Connecticut requires all divorcing parents who have children together to complete the Parenting Education Program prior to an uncontested matter being scheduled. Once you have completed the program, the program provider will issue a Parenting Education Program Certificate.

The course costs approximately $125 per parent. The parties must bring the signed certificates of completion with them to the divorce hearing. If you want to ask the court to allow you to waive the requirement for the Parenting Education Program, a Motion to Exempt from the Parenting Education Program may be filed and scheduled for hearing before the final uncontested divorce hearing can be scheduled.
What is a Return Date? 2715
The Return Date is always a Tuesday and must be at least four (4) weeks after the day the Plaintiff first brought the papers to the Clerk. Plaintiff fills in the Return Date on any documents that ask for it, including the Summons and Complaint. Note: The Return Date is not a hearing date and neither spouse needs to be in court on that date.
What is a Case Management Date? 2716
The Case Management Date is chosen by the Court or Clerk and will always be at least ninety (90) days after the Return Date. Ask the Clerk for more information about the Case Management Date if you are not provided with one. The Plaintiff only goes to court on the Case Management Date if the divorce hearing is set for that date.
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CUSTODY, VISITATION, SUPPORT
We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 2664
DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you must also attach a copy of the prior support order to your Dissolution Agreement when you file it.
What are the different types of custody in Connecticut? 2655
Sole legal custody means that only one parent makes all major non-emergency decisions for the children, including education, medical care, religion, and extracurricular activities. Joint legal custody, the most common arrangement, means that both parents make decisions concerning the care and well-being of the children jointly. Primary physical custody means that the child resides with one parent primarily with other parent having co-parenting rights and responsibilities. Shared physical custody means that the child resides with each parents equally or nearly equally.
When can a child support order be modified in Connecticut? 2656
Either parent can request a child support modification when there has been a "substantial change in circumstances." Conn. Gen. Stat. ยง46b-86. Commonly, the Courts will award a modification when one parent the change in circumstances results in a 15% deviation from the child support amount under the guidelines.
What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 2650
DivorceWriter shows you the child support calculation under the guidelines using the parents' income. Then, the customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount as well a reason for using a different amount. Factors that Courts will consider in determining whether a deviation from the guideline support amount is acceptable are:
  1. Financial resources available to one parent that are not included in the definition of net income, but could be used by such parent for the benefit of the child or for meeting the needs of the parent;
  2. Extraordinary expenses for care and maintenance of the child;
  3. Extraordinary expenses incurred by one parent that are not considered allowable deductions from gross income, but which are necessary for the parent to maintain a satisfactory parental relationship with the child, continue employment, or provide for the parent's own medical needs;
  4. Needs of a parent's other dependents; and/or
  5. Consideration of total family support, property settlement, and tax implications when such considerations will not result in a lesser economic benefit to the child.
How is child support calculated in Connecticut? 2648
In Connecticut, all child support payments must be made to the State Disbursement Unit.
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