So, you have filed for divorce, which makes you the plaintiff, and now you wonder how it all works; what happens next? Here is a brief overview of the divorce process in Connecticut and answers to common questions.
The paperwork (summons, complaint and notice of automatic orders) has been served by a duly-authorized official (in Connecticut, it is usually a state marshal) and returned to the clerk of the court for a docket number and filing. You have paid the filing fee ($360, currently) and now have an actual suit for dissolution on your hands. Here are some of the questions frequently asked by the person filing and the defendant:
- Can either of us stop paying the normal bills of the household, to include child care, insurance, car, mortgage, etc.?
- Unless one or the other of you files a motion with the Court, or you both agree and seek the Court’s approval, life must carry on as it did before the action was filed.
- Can one party lock the other party out of the marital residence or change the locks?
- Much like the first question, unless the Court grants its permission, each of you is considered to have equal access to the home. That being said, either of you may file a motion for exclusive use and occupancy of the marital residence. Once the Court rules on that motion, if it were to be granted, the successful movant (the party who filed the motion) could change the locks.
- If we both agree that the marital residence will be sold, can we list it or even sell it before we get divorced?
- However, you both would have to make it very clear that sale of the home is a condition of the divorce and is to be included in the divorce settlement agreement. Bear in mind, the Court encourages divorcing parties to form agreements. So, working toward a final divorce settlement agreement by starting with one of the bigger, more contentious issues resolved is always a good thing.
- Who can use the money in our joint bank accounts?
- The simple answer is you both can, but only to the extent that you are using it for what you normally would have used the money. For instance, if the mortgage payment and car note payments came out of that account, you both would continue to have to follow that routine.
- We don’t have anything on which we disagree and we both want to get divorced sooner, rather than later. Do we have to wait the statutory 90 days?
- Connecticut has instituted an expedited procedure that allows the parties to dissolve their union sooner, if they both agree on the form of the settlement. A waiver of the statutory period required would need to be completed properly and submitted, but a divorce would likely be granted by the Court, presuming everything has been done correctly, up to that point.
Contact the Knowledgeable and Compassionate Family Law Attorneys at The APEX Law Firm
If you have questions about divorce, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Connecticut divorce attorney to help you through this very trying time. Call The APEX Law Firm today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our experienced Connecticut family law attorneys. In Hartford County or Hartford County, call (860) 900-0900 or utilize our contact form online.