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What the new divorce court appearance law means for you

Traditional divorce can be a lengthy process. Separating two lives typically takes time. This impacts more straightforward divorce cases that don’t involve children, joint property or alimony. Those cases must wait behind the more complicated cases like the person with a few items at the grocery store waiting behind the person with the full cart.

The state of Connecticut has begun work to change that.

On October 1, 2018, a w went into effect. The new law erases the 90-day waiting period if the other spouse fails to appear in court within 30 days. If the spouse fails to appear in court within that timeframe, the filing spouse may now petition to have the 90-day cooling period waived. The judge can then grant the divorce without a hearing.

The new law is intended to expedite the divorce process. However, the couple must meet a set of criteria to qualify:

  • The filing spouse must properly serve the defendant papers.
  • No children can be involved.
  • The filing spouse cannot be seeking alimony or child support.
  • There cannot be any joint property or debt.

Who the new law affects

The new law should also ease congestion on the courts by pushing through some less-complicated divorce cases. This should allow for expedition of simpler cases and hopefully quicker turnaround times for more complicated cases.

This law is unlikely to affect younger families with children because they would not qualify. Childless couples who are financially independent or empty nesters are two groups more likely to reap the benefits of this new law. If your case meets the criteria, you may not have to wait as long as you think to have your divorce settled.

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