These instructions are to help you
represent yourself in a the dissolution of a civil union. Legal words and court documents can be
confusing. The more you know, the more comfortable you will be when you
fill out the necessary court forms and come to court. These instructions will give you some useful information and instructions on filling
out the necessary forms.
Every case is different and this instruction
sheet is to be used as a guide only; if you think you need more help you
may want to get an attorney. You can also go to a
Court Service Center or contact the
Connecticut Network for Legal
find additional information at the Law Libraries.
Court staff can answer procedural questions and help you understand the
legal process, but cannot give you legal advice.
You are the
defendant in a dissolution if a copy of the court forms called a
Summons Family Actions, Dissolution of Civil Union Complaint and
Notice of Automatic Court Orders have been delivered to you (or
served on you). A State Marshal may hand them to you or leave
them at your home. It is important that you read all the
After you get a
copy of the court papers, you may contact an attorney to
represent you or follow the steps below if you want to represent
yourself. Even if you agree with what the plaintiff says in the
Complaint, you can take part in your case. If you do nothing,
the judge may order what the plaintiff asks for in the
To respond to
a dissolution case you will have to fill out the following 2
If you want to
ask the court for different orders than the ones the plaintiff
is asking for in his or her Complaint, you will have to fill out
By filing an
Appearance form you are
telling the court that you are acting as your own attorney and
giving the court your mailing address. It is best to file an
Appearance as early as possible. Once you file an Appearance
you will receive all court notices and papers filed about your
Answer form will tell
the court if you agree or disagree with each numbered statement
in the Complaint.
Dissolution of Civil Union Complaint lets the court know what
you want. It also allows the dissolution to continue even if
the plaintiff decides to stop or withdraw the case.
There is no
court fee for filing an Answer or Cross Complaint.
If you have
children under the age of 18 (eighteen), you must take part in a
parenting education program within 60 (sixty) days after the
Return date. There is a fee for the classes that you will have
to pay unless the court has decided that you do not have to.
There is a form you can use to ask the court to excuse you from
paying the fee if you prove that you cannot afford to pay. It
is the Application For Waiver Of Fees/ Appointment Of Counsel
need the following forms to take part in the class:
Once your forms
are filled out, give them to, or file them with the court
clerk. Be sure to make a copy for yourself and send a copy to
If you decide
to take part in the dissolution process you will have to fill
out more forms for the final hearing.