Can I Get Divorced During the Coronavirus?
What does COVID-19 mean for my Connecticut divorce matter?
Are the Connecticut Family Courts still closed? The Connecticut Family Courts remain closed for in-person proceedings except for “Priority 1 Matters” which include domestic violence matters and emergency custody applications. You do not need to appear for previously scheduled in-person hearings or trials in Court at this time.
Can I file for divorce while the Connecticut Family Court remains closed? Yes, you can start a divorce action in the same way as always. Following the preparation of the initial papers, your spouse will be served by a marshal and the initiating divorce papers, along with the return of service, will be e-filed with the Court.
Can my divorce or post-judgment case move forward even during the COVID-19 crisis? Yes, your divorce case can move forward. Importantly, you and your spouse can sign your respective financial affidavits and exchange the financial information necessary to negotiate a resolution of your divorce case. Once an agreement is reached, a formal document is prepared and signed by both parties. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Court will ultimately schedule an evidentiary hearing. Many firms are also offering remote mediations to assist parties in settling their cases.
Should I file a post-judgment motion to modify my support obligation downwards while the Connecticut Family Courts are closed? Yes, you should file a motion to modify your support obligation based upon a substantial change in circumstances (such as a job loss) to preserve the retroactivity of a court order reducing your child support or alimony payments.
Do I still need to take the Parenting Education Class during the COVID-19 crisis to get divorce in Connecticut? Parenting-Education classes are presently being conducted on-line. Unless you have specific permission from the Court, you still must take the class to get divorced.
How can I get a document notarized during COVID-19? There are new procedures in place for “remote notarization”. Your attorney can now remotely notarize your signature during a zoom or other video conferencing platform.
Do I have to have to go to Court to get divorced or have a modification agreement become a court order? Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Family Court has changed the rules and you are no longer required to appear in person in Court to get divorced or have a post judgment agreement made a court order in Connecticut.
What is the status of my custody agreement during this crisis?
The Connecticut Family Court recently issued the following statement on the Judicial Website: All custody agreements remain in effect. A party can file an emergency motion if the child is in imminent or present physical danger or psychological harm.