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Automatic Orders in Connecticut Divorces

Jul. 3rd 2013

Two hands trying to divide house, isolated

One things that everyone facing or contemplating filing a divorce in Connecticut must understand is that the judge, after you file the divorce, will enter automatic orders in your case.  Many lawyers charge you for the filing of the paperwork associated with this – but the forms they use are used in every case!  All the lawyer needs to do is to change the name, and you wind up paying for the creation of these motions, so it is important that you find a lawyer who won’t charge for filing this paperwork.

In basic terms, the automatic orders keep you or your future ex-spouse from taking on an debt or selling any assets of the family until the court determines how the divorce is paid out.  This means that if you have a jointly owned house, you cannot list that house for sale – nor can you damage the house to drive down the value – while the divorce is pending.  This is one reason why it pays to be prepared for a divorce and get your financials in order before you file. The automatic orders set for that:

Neither the plaintiff or defendant shall:

1.  Sell, mortgage, or give away any property without written agreement or a court order.

2.  Go into unreasonable debt by borrowing money or using credit cards or cash advances.

3.  Permanently take your children from Connecticut without written agreement or a court order.

4.  Take each other or your children off of any existing medical, hospital, or dental insurance policy or let any such insurance coverage expire.

5.  Change the terms or named beneficiaries of any existing insurance policy or let any existing insurance coverage expire, including life, automobile, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.

6.  Deny use of the family home to the other person without a court order, if you are living together on the date the court papers are served.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant shall:

1.  Complete and exchange sworn financial affidavits within thirty days of the return date.

2.  Participate in a parenting education program within sixty days of the return date (if you share children under 18 years old).

3.  Attend a case management conference on the date specified on the reverse, unless you both agree on all issues and file a Case Management Agreement form with the court clerk on or before that date.

4.  Tell the other person in writing within forty-eight hours about your new address or a place where you can receive mail if you move out of the family home (if you share children under 18 years old).

5.  Help any children you share continue their usual contact with both parents in person, by telephone and in writing.

These orders are court orders and you can be found in contempt of court for not following them.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Connecticut Divorce 101, Court Process, Defendant, Plaintiff | Comments Off on Automatic Orders in Connecticut Divorces

Contested Divorce v. Uncontested Divorce v. Limited Contested Divorce in Connecticut

Jun. 26th 2013

Couple Fighting

A fully contested divorce may include disputes over custody, visitation, property division and family support. The contest may be over one, several or all issues. The parties may engage in discovery over financial issues or even with respect to their parenting abilities and personal histories. If custody or visitation is disputed, studies may be conducted by court officers and/or private experts retained by each party. If finances are in dispute, expert appraisers and forensic accountants may be engaged by each party. Multiple court hearings, with both lawyers “on the clock”, may take place on matters such as temporary custody, visitation, alimony and child support. Depositions are often taken of both parties and other persons relevant to the litigation. Finally, a contested trial takes place with witnesses and experts testifying, leading to a decision on the contested issues by a Judge.

An uncontested divorce is one in which all issues have been agreed upon by the parties. The parties reduce their agreement to writing and it is presented to a Judge at the final hearing. An uncontested divorce can be achieved by the parties working on their own or through mediators and collaborative lawyers as well as lawyers working in the traditional context. Oftentimes, cases which are contested on one or more issues end up being uncontested when the parties settle after a period of adversarial litigation. In fact, the vast majority of divorce cases are settled by agreement. But what occurs in the course of litigation prior to the settlement can be damaging to the family relationships and resources.

Connecticut adjudicates limited contested divorces when the only issues under dispute are financial and division of property. After a case management conference, the judge will counsel and issue orders.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Connecticut Divorce 101, Court Process, Defendant, Plaintiff | Comments Off on Contested Divorce v. Uncontested Divorce v. Limited Contested Divorce in Connecticut