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Help! I’ve Just been served with Divorce papers!

Sep. 19th 2016

Sometimes it is expected, and sometimes it comes out of nowhere – but being served with divorce papers means that the process is starting.  Even if you knew it was coming, getting papers in hand can set up a range of emotions.  Our job is to help get you through this troubling time.  If you just got served with divorce papers, read on to see what to do next:

1.    Hire a lawyer.  Divorces, even the ones which everyone seems to agree at the outset, can get messy.  Emotions run high, and a lawyer can give you the unbiased and unemotional advice you desperately need in this time.  Even family members have a vested interest in your life, and may not be able to give you the truth as is necessary in a civil case

2.   If you have been served with papers YOU DO NOT NEED TO APPEAR IN COURT ON THE RETURN DATE!  The return date is the date that your spouse’s attorney must file the executed complaint with the court.  This allows the court to give the case a docket number and start the process.

3. Review the complaint and any motions you might also get.  The court has automatic orders that apply in all divorce cases.  You should be aware of them because it impacts financial decisions you might make.  Don’t violate the automatic orders or you run the risk of penalty.

4.   Pendente Lite Motions. After the return date, your attorney can advocate for your best interests by filing requests with the court. These requests may be resolved by agreement or may require a hearing in front of the Judge. Such requests can be for alimony, bill payments, child custody, visitation, or other matters that should be addressed right away. Such Orders last for the period of the divorce proceedings until final judgment.

5.     Financial Affidavit. A financial affidavit is a very important document that must be sworn to after it is properly filled out. Your attorney will work with you to make sure it is as accurate as possible prior to handing it into the court. Start compiling your financial information by printing credit card statements, bank statements and investment account statements so you have hard copies on hand.

6.     Case Management Date. Upon filing your complaint with the Court, your attorney will receive a case management date. This date indicates when the 90 day period ends. There are certain documents that the court must receive by this date, however after this date a final judgment of divorce can be entered.

7.     Keep your Attorney updated! It is very important to notify your attorney if there are any changes that occur in your life. Attorneys like to stay current with how situations are working out and what things are not working in order to better determine what will meet your needs.

Have more questions?  Give me a call at 203-925-9200 and we can discuss your situation.


Attorney Stephen Lebedevitch

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How to Divorce in Connecticut

Jul. 31st 2013

Confused Older Student

Divorce is a major life event that anyone in the United States can have the right to file for.  However, the laws and regulations regarding how to file for divorce and the process of divorce will vary from state to state.  In the state of Connecticut, there are specific grounds that you can file for divorce under.  Once reviewing these grounds and feeling that you want a divorce, there are certain rules that apply if you want to get a divorce in the state of Connecticut.  One spouse must be a resident of Connecticut for at least a year before the divorce can be finalized.  This will particularly apply to same-sex couples seeking a divorce in Connecticut or any other state that allows gay divorce.  Other reasons to be eligible for divorce in Connecticut are if one spouse lived in Connecticut at the time of the marriage or if grounds for divorce arose in the state of Connecticut.  If any of these apply to you, you are eligible to have your divorce processed in Connecticut.

The divorce process in Connecticut will begin when one spouse files a summons and complaint with the Supreme Court in the district where he or she lives.  After this is filed, a 90-day cooling off period will ensue, during which the claim for divorce can be revoked.  Over the course of this 90-day period, temporary assistance can be requested of the court by either spouse.  Child custody and child support, as well as alimony are some examples of what the court can help you with.  If a restraining order is needed in more violent cases, it can be obtained during this period.

After this cooling off period is completed, you and your spouse are required to do two things.  The first is that you must sign a document saying that your marriage is irrevocably broken.  Secondly, you must make this claim in court.  At this point your assets will be divided, including property, debt, and any other marital property.  If communication is at all possible, you should try to maintain it with your spouse and sit down with him or her in order to divide your assets calmly.  The process will be much easier if you are both willing to compromise.  Child custody, support, and visitation will be discussed at this point, it you and your spouse have any children together.

This is a basic outline of the steps that you must take in order to get a divorce in the state of Connecticut, but you should also talk to an attorney who can give you a better estimate of details specific to your case as well as a rough time estimate for how long the process will take.  If you are looking to file for divorce, familiarize yourself with this process so that you can experience as quick and painless a divorce as possible.

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What is Divorce in Connecticut?

Jul. 24th 2013

Gavel and money

Divorce in Connecticut can be a lengthy process that is hard to understand.  You may be unsure if you have the grounds for a divorce in Connecticut and how you would go about understanding the divorce process.  In order to make intelligent, informed decisions, you should familiarize yourself with the topic and contact and attorney.  Even if you decide to settle your divorce out of court, a divorce lawyer can answer any questions that you have and can help the process go smoothly.

In the state of Connecticut, “A marriage [or civil union] is dissolved only by (1) the death of one of the parties or (2) a decree of annulment or dissolution of marriage by a court of competent jurisdiction.” CONN. GEN. STAT. § 46b-40(a) (2008).  Unless one of the parties is deceased, divorce can only occur through annulment or dissolution.  However, it is important to note that these terms do not mean the same thing.  An annulment considers the marriage void from the very beginning, while a dissolution considers a legitimate marriage to be dissolved only by the date that the divorce is actually settled.  If a marriage is dissolved due to death, an annulment, or dissolution, these are considered “no fault grounds”.  However, there are oftentimes different, more serious grounds for divorce that are taken into consideration.

In Connecticut, there are several grounds for divorce under CONN. GEN. STAT. § 46b-40(c) (2008).  These grounds for divorce include well-known violations of trust such as adultery, severe cruelty or habitual intemperance.  Other grounds for divorce include mental illness, separation of 18 months or more, imprisonment or crime, seven years absence, desertion, or fraudulent contract.  Fraudulent contract is defined as one spouse severely deceiving another.  It is understood that the deceived spouse has been left out of something extremely important dealing with the marriage or the other spouse, and that it will lead to the end of the marriage (Gould v. Gould, 78 Conn. 242, 261 (1905)).  Divorce filed because of one of these infractions is filed under “fault grounds”.  There can be multiple grounds considered in one divorce case, however, they must be substantially proven in order for a divorce to be completed on those grounds.

If you feel that you have been subjected to one or more of these grounds for divorce, and you would like to end your marriage, you should contact an attorney and consider your options.  Begin building your case against your spouse and be sure to include as much evidence as possible.  Divorce is never easy, but the sooner you make the decision to file for divorce, the sooner you can have a fresh start.

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Restraining and Protective Orders in Connecticut

Jul. 10th 2013

Sad couple having conflict

In Connecticut, there are two types of Restraining Orders:

A Temporary (ex parte) Restraining Order is a court order designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection from your abuser. “Ex Parte” means that you can get the Order without your abuser present in court. If the judge grants you a Temporary Restraining Order, s/he will also schedule a hearing within 14 days. Your Temporary (ex parte) Restraining Order will protect you from the time you file for the Restraining Order until your full court hearing for a long-term Order can take place.

Your Temporary (ex parte) Restraining Order is in effect the day that it is signed. The accused abuser can be arrested if s/he disobeys the order after receiving notice of it.

Note: If you are in the middle of a divorce, the court may want to hear from the other side before giving a Restraining Order.

A Permanent Restraining Order can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story. It is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family from the abuser. It lasts up to six months, but can be extended.

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