How Do I File For Divorce? – Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Filing for Divorce in Connecticut

Divorce FAQ – How to file for divorce in CT

“How do I File for Divorce?” is a common question we get asked during our initial consultations for divorce clients. This is a very important question. In a divorce, just like any litigation, the most important steps are the first steps. Errors made when beginning a divorce proceeding could prove devastating at later stages, especially if the other party times it right. Individuals who attempt to represent themselves sometimes fall into this trap.

In Connecticut, there are two basic types of divorce: no-fault and fault divorce. While the basic documents are the same for both types of divorce, the contents will be different depending on which type you are filing for.

To begin a court proceeding to terminate a marriage, the spouse seeking the divorce (the “plaintiff”) has to file a “Complaint” in the Superior Court for the Judicial District where one of the spouses lives. In the Complaint, the Plaintiff has to state the reason for the divorce and information about any children from the marriage. The Plaintiff can also ask the Court to grant custody of children, award child support or alimony, divide marital property and debts, and restore a prior name.

Before the Complaint can be filed with the Court, it must be “served” against the other spouse (the “defendant”). The purpose of this is t give the Defendant spouse notice of the divorce proceeding. In Connecticut, service is typically made by a State Marshal. Along with the Complaint must be a “Summons” which tells the defendant about the divorce processing and when to come to court, the “Notice of Automatic Court Orders” which tells the defendant what they can and cannot do in regards to the Plaintiff, and an “Affidavit of Service” which the Marshal signs when service is made.

Any flaws in the service process or the documentation involved may lead to a successful “Motion to Dismiss” by the Defendant. They can wait until you’ve made your entire case and played all your cards, then end the proceeding on a technicality. Then the entire process must be started all over, the right way.