While it is always preferable if you and your spouse can work out the terms of your divorce, if you are unable to do so, a judge will make the decisions that will impact your family, such as:
Note: This information also applies to dissolution of civil unions performed in a foreign jurisdiction.
Forms to complete to obtain a Divorce
If you cannot afford the court fees to file for a divorce:
How to deliver the papers to your spouse
Next steps after the papers have been delivered to your spouse
If it has been 30 days from the return date in your case and your spouse has not filed an appearance, or if you and your spouse come to a full agreement before the statutory 90 day waiting period is over, you may ask the court to waive the waiting period
How Family Relations Counselors can assist you in reaching an agreement
Family Relations Counselors will assist you and your spouse to reach an agreement. You may be referred by a judge to any of the following free services:
In all Judicial Districts, Family Relations Counselors conduct pre-trial and final judgment settlement conferences with attorneys and litigants in conjunction with their attendance at Family Short Calendar and other Family Civil Court dockets.
Click here to view a video about short calendar negotiations.
The goal for matters referred for this service is to provide early intervention in custody/access matters, coordinate needed services, offer compliance monitoring, and facilitate dispute resolution for clients with pending motions. Every effort is made to address the issues impeding resolution of the conflict, provide the Court with required information, and assist the families in reaching a parenting plan. Testimony is provided to the Court as necessary with the goal of expediting the overall process.
This is a service for post judgement matters with indications of conflict-driven motions regarding parenting. The focus of Intensive Case Management is to provide parents with a structured process aimed at developing vital skills to move toward more lasting parenting agreements. This includes learning enhanced communication strategies, building better co-parenting relationships, and resolving parenting concerns together.
Family Relations Counselors mediate custody and access disputes for up to three 2-hour sessions. These efforts are geared toward assisting parents in resolving differences in a self-determining, non-coercive, and confidential manner.
Click here to view a video about mediation.
This is a confidential, directive process utilizing negotiation and mediation techniques to resolve the primary issues of custody and access. Parents and attorneys participate in the conferences and information from professional sources may be included. The Family Relations Counselor may offer recommendations to the parents at the conclusion of the process if the parties are unable to resolve their dispute. These recommendations are not provided to the Court.
Click here to view a video about conflict resolution conference.
Family Relations Counselors conduct conciliation sessions with parties upon referral from the Court. The focus of these sessions is to explore the possibility of the parties reconciling.
This is a non-confidential process of assessing a limited issue impacting a family and/or parenting plan. The goal of an Issue-Focused Evaluation is to explore the defined parenting dispute, gather information regarding only this issue and provide a recommendation to the parents and the Court. This evaluation format is limited in scope, involvement, and duration.
Click here to view a video about issue-focused evaluation.
This is an in-depth, non-confidential assessment of the family system by the Family Relations Counselor. The information gathered by the counselor, the assessment of the family, and the resulting recommended parenting plan is shared with the parents and attorneys. This recommendation may be used to form the basis of an agreement. At the conclusion of the process, a report with recommendations is filed with the Court.
Click here to view a video about Comprehensive Evaluation.
Others who may be involved in your case
Guardian Ad Litem
Attorney for the Minor Child
Assistant Attorney General
Case Management Agreement/Order
Parenting Education Program
Forms to complete prior to your final divorce hearing
If your spouse did not respond to the divorce Complaint by the time of the final hearing, you may have to file another form, the:
On the day of your divorce hearing
Where to go to get help
The information on this webpage is provided as a service and a convenience by the Connecticut Judicial Branch. It is not intended as legal advice to any person. If you have questions about the use of these forms, your legal rights, or particular issues in your case, it is strongly recommended that you talk to an attorney.
Due to the changing nature of the law, the forms and information found on this website will change from time to time. It is up to you to follow the current procedures and to file the correct, up-to-date forms.