Connecticut Divorce and Coronavirus: What You Need to Know
A global pandemic impacts everyone in different ways. Illness and government shutdowns can make things even harder when you’re going through a divorce.
Government-mandated closures affect courts, similar to how government mandates affect mask mandates and indoor dining options. In Connecticut, family and divorce courts have been operating under restrictions since March 13, 2020. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Connecticut courts have focused on preventing the spread of the coronavirus by handling only urgent matters.
However, these restrictions regularly change. The Connecticut Chief Court Administrator has expanded the court’s ability to hear cases. The court has increased the number of cases they can hear remotely, focusing its first expanded efforts on civil and family cases, which continue to expand.
StangerLaw LLC can answer any Connecticut divorce questions; reach their knowledgeable attorneys at (860) 561-0651. If you’re wondering how Coronavirus might impact your divorce proceedings, keep reading.
Are Divorces Increasing During Coronavirus?
Some people have enjoyed spending time with their families during the coronavirus quarantine. For others, being cooped up with a spouse has produced a different realization: it’s time to divorce.
The stress of the pandemic, which brings worries about health, career, and finances, can also put things into perspective. Money stressors are a leading cause of divorce in normal times, and the current economic fallout compounds that tension.
Plus, many people have time on their hands to sit and think about what they really want from life. A spouse who has been sleepwalking through an unfulfilling marriage may decide that it’s time for a change.
Can I File for Divorce During Coronavirus?
Yes, you can file for divorce. If you’re wondering how to get a divorce in Connecticut, coronavirus restrictions can make the process more challenging. If you file for divorce now, don’t expect your divorce to be completed anytime soon. A divorce normally takes months to complete, and that time frame will likely be extended due to current court limitations if you and your spouse can not come to an agreement. For instance, if one party has a restraining order or the parties’ affidavits assert different facts, the divorce is more complicated. Please see this link for more information. As always the court is pleased to see an agreement with two component attorneys representing the parties and divorces with agreeing parties can often move ahead of the others.
By filing for divorce now, you can get the process started. Much of divorce proceedings consist of lawyers exchanging financial documents and negotiating estate and parenting plans. Your attorneys can exchange these documents electronically, and when courts are back in full session and hearing more divorce cases, your case will be ready.
How Do You File Connecticut Divorce Documents?
Most divorce filings can be completed electronically or in a courthouse lockbox. To accommodate the social distancing measures in place, the six operating Connecticut superior courts have placed lockboxes in their lobbies. Your attorney can file your divorce documents by placing the documents in the lockbox along with a check or money order for any fee. This lockbox submission option is available for non-urgent civil and family filings.
Are There New deadlines for Exchanging Documents Between the Parties?
The Connecticut Superior Court for Family Matters released new guidance on January 1, 2021 for issues such as trials and hearings. More information can be found here. The guidelines on the link provided discuss deadlines for exchanging documents between the parties.
What Divorce Matters Can Be Heard Remotely?
All types of cases are being heard in Connecticut state courts. More information can be found here. If you have already filed for a divorce, the court where you initially filed might not be open. You might need to file in a different courthouse hearing family law matters. Here is a list of available courthouses.
A skilled family attorney should be able to file any of these petitions relating to your divorce in CT remotely, protecting your health while advancing your legal interests.
Can I Get Divorce Mediation During Coronavirus?
Mediation can be a great alternative to traditional divorce proceedings. In mediation, you and your spouse work through financial and childcare divisions with the help of a mediator. This encourages communication, can reduce hostility, and saves you legal fees. Divorce mediation in CT also keeps your divorce proceedings more private and helps you avoid extra court appearances.
When an attorney serves as your mediator, it streamlines the entire divorce process. During the coronavirus shutdown, mediators can meet with you and your spouse remotely, including remote document exchanges. After Connecticut divorce mediation is complete, the attorney can file all mediation paperwork to finish divorce proceedings. You’ll likely make one court appearance to finalize the divorce.
Contact a Connecticut Divorce Attorney to Learn More
If you want to file for divorce or have questions about divorce proceedings during this time, reach out to our firm for a consultation. We can schedule a phone call or video chat to discuss your case, give you advice on legal options, and answer your questions.
Even while working remotely during this challenging time, you should expect open communication, regular case status reports, and loyal advocacy from your attorney. While the logistics of practicing law may be different, our high standards of professionalism and client confidentiality have not wavered.