Couples looking for an amicable divorce that is over much quicker than a contested divorce may want to consider an uncontested divorce. Most states offer certain couples (couples that can agree on the terms of their divorce) the option of getting an uncontested divorce, which is a faster divorce process that saves time, money and paperwork.
This article explains the requirements for an uncontested divorce in Connecticut and lists the steps you’ll need to take to have your uncontested divorce granted in your state. If you still have questions after reading this article, contact a Connecticut family law attorney for advice.
Connecticut calls an uncontested divorce an “uncontested dissolution of marriage,” but the two terms mean the same thing. In Connecticut, you must meet the following requirements for an uncontested dissolution of marriage:
Although you can still get an uncontested divorce when there are grounds for divorce like adultery or desertion, it’s easier to get an uncontested divorce based on irreconcilable differences since your spouse won’t have to admit to fault for an uncontested divorce.
You’ll also need to enter into a settlement agreement that is signed by both parties. The agreement should state specifically how you and your spouse are resolving all of your divorce-related issues, such as child custody, child support, visitation, alimony and property division. You should have an attorney review your settlement agreement to make sure it includes everything that the court requires.
A spouse that wants an uncontested divorce in Connecticut needs to file a “divorce complaint” in the judicial district court of the county where he or she lives, or in the county where the other spouse lives if the filing spouse lives outside of Connecticut. Your county judicial district court clerk’s office should have a form complaint you can use. You can find your county judicial district court clerk’s office here.
You will also need to serve (deliver) a copy of the complaint on your spouse. If your spouse accepts service, he or she can file an “Entry of Appearance” form with the superior court clerk’s office. If your spouse won't agree to accept service, you'll need to serve your spouse with the complaint - the sheriff of your county can do it for you or you can hire a professional process server to deliver the complaint.
If you're having trouble serving your spouse with the complaint, you can ask for more information at the local clerk's office, but remember that the clerks cannot provide legal advice. If you have questions, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney.
Both you and your spouse will need to file financial affidavits that list your assets, debts and property with the court no more than 30 days before your uncontested divorce hearing. If you have children, you’ll need to complete a child support worksheet and an affidavit concerning children that lists all of your children and any cases involving them over the past five years.
If a spouse is receiving alimony or child support, he or she will need to sign an advisement of rights stating that he or she understands any rights being giving up, including a right to trial, by agreeing to the uncontested divorce. Finally, both parents will need to complete a parenting education program before the hearing on the uncontested divorce; the program provider will provide a certificate of completion directly to the court.
Unlike most other states, Connecticut requires that a hearing be held before a judge will grant an uncontested divorce; but the hearing is short and simple. The judge will review the settlement agreement you and your spouse have signed and the other documents you’ve submitted to the court. Generally, only the plaintiff is required to attend. When the judge is certain that all of the uncontested divorce requirements have been met, he or she will issue a decree of dissolution of marriage (divorce).
If you have additional questions about uncontested divorce in Connecticut, contact a local family law attorney.
To read the full text of the law on divorce in Connecticut, read the Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 815j.