Getting divorced is an important decision. Before you decide to get a divorce, you may want to meet with a family counselor. A counselor is someone who can help you identify issues concerning your marriage and your decision to get a divorce.
Do it Yourself Divorce
If you cannot work out your differences, divorce is a way to legally end your marriage. If you decide to end your marriage, you can represent yourself. A “Do It Yourself Divorce” is called a pro se dissolution. Pro se means “for yourself.” Dissolution
is the word Connecticut law uses for divorce. If you and your spouse disagree about child custody or other important issues, you should seriously consider getting an
There are many stages of a divorce. When you and your spouse agree on basic issues, it takes approximately four months to complete a divorce. One way to reach an agreement on basic issues is to work with a mediator. The clerk’s office has lists of mediators who
can help you for free or for a fee. The Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division (CSSD), Family Services Office of the courts, can also mediate
divorce cases. Its services are free.
Regardless of who starts the divorce, the judge will listen carefully to you and to your spouse.The amount of paper in a court case can be overwhelming.
Start out right and follow these tips:
Always write down the date and the name of the court personnel, state marshal or others who give you instructions or explain things to you.
When you must mail something, you may wish to send it by “certified mail” with a “return receipt” so you have proof that you mailed it and that it was received.
Keep all documents, notes and receipts in a file, envelope or binder.
When you file a document with the court, include the full docket number and case name.
Always keep a copy of every document for yourself. Do not give away your only copy of a document.
Language used in the legal process of divorce
Divorce involves complex laws and procedures. If you are getting divorced,
here are some words that you should know.
Money a court requires one spouse to pay the other spouse for support before and/or after the divorce is granted. If you do not ask for alimony at the final hearing, you can never get it in the future.
A court order declaring that the marriage is invalid.
Money for court ordered alimony and/or child support which is overdue and unpaid.
Automatic Court Orders
Court orders that take effect when the divorce process begins.
Irretrievably Broken Down
The most common reason for granting a divorce. It means there is no hope of the husband and wife reconciling.
Money paid by a parent to help meet the financial needs of a child.
A legal paper that starts your case and tells the court what you want.
A court order deciding where a child will live and how decisions about the child will be made. Parents may ask for any custody arrangement that they believe is in the best interest of their child.
The person who is served with divorce papers.
The legal end of a marriage, also called a divorce.
A unique number the court clerk assigns to a case. It must be
used on all future papers filed in the court case.
Giving the court clerk your legal papers.
A sworn statement of income, expenses, property (called assets) and debts (called liabilities).
Income Withholding Order
A court order to deduct child support or alimony payments from someone’s income.
A permanent court record of the court’s final decision.
A court order describing the conditions under which two married people will live separately.
The most common kind of divorce, where no one needs to prove that the husband or wife caused the marriage to end.
The people who are named as plaintiff and defendant on legal papers.
Pendente Lite Order
A court order made before a divorce is granted.
The person who starts the divorce.
Pro Se Divorce
Do it yourself divorce.
A court order to protect someone from physical abuse or the threat of
The date when the divorce action starts in court and when the 90 day waiting period for a divorce begins. Also, the defendant should file an appearance on or before the second day after the Return Date. Nothing happens in court on the Return Date and no one needs to go to court on the Return Date. The Return Date is always a Tuesday.
The legal method for giving your spouse a copy of the court papers being filed, or notice that court action is being taken or has been taken.
A court order deciding the amount of time a noncustodial parent may
spend with his or her child; also called parenting time, or access.