This Week’s Blog by Westport divorce lawyer Jaime S. Dursht
CAN I GET DIVORCED ONLINE WITHOUT GOING TO COURT IN CONNECTICUT?
Yes, the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch has announced that uncontested divorces will be permitted remotely, without the requirement of physical presence in court. This is significant given the current status of court closures because it means that if you have reached agreement with your spouse on the terms of your divorce, you will be able to proceed to judgment on the papers.
Are Divorce Separation Agreements Negotiated Remotely in Connecticut?
The majority of divorce settlements are negotiated remotely with the exchange of settlement correspondence followed by drafts of the divorce agreements (called Separation Agreements). If negotiation reaches impasse, there are alternate dispute resolution options that are available on a virtual basis. Proceedings that were held in conference rooms two months ago are now taking place over conference calls and virtual meeting space. Professional mediators are conducting sessions using Zoom for example, and attorneys continue to move their cases forward utilizing remote applications and tools that are no less effective from home computers.
What are the Uncontested Divorce Requirements in Connecticut?
The Judicial Branch filing system has been paperless since 2015 when it required the electronic filing of nearly all legal documents and pleadings that would otherwise have been filed in person at the courthouse clerks’ offices. To proceed with an uncontested divorce, a fully executed Separation Agreement and sworn Financial Affidavits must be e-filed with the court, and if applicable,
- Child Support Guidelines,
- an Affidavit Concerning Children, and
- Advisement of Rights.
Until recently, the parties and counsel were required to personally appear before a judge for an uncontested hearing for approval and entry of the Separation Agreement as final orders of the court.
What is the Procedure for a Final Online Divorce in Connecticut?
The Judicial Branch has now made it possible to meet the legal requirements of an uncontested divorce online by requiring Affidavits to be filed (Affidavit in Support of Entry of Divorce Judgment, Plaintiff or Defendant) in lieu of in-person testimony, and a Request for Approval of Final Agreement Without Court Appearance.
Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC, with offices in Westport and Greenwich, concentrates in family law and divorce. Our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and prepared to conduct remote and/or virtual negotiation and settlements as well as final online uncontested divorce.