Connecticut Courts to Enter Orders as to Uncontested Divorce/Legal Separation Cases
Governor Lamont recently signed two Executive Orders that directly affect litigants in family matters: the first allowing courts to enter orders as to agreement and stipulations without requiring the presence of the parties, including entering orders as to a final judgment of dissolution or legal separation, and the second requires masks or cloth face coverings for any individual entering a courthouse.
This Executive Order permits courts to enter orders as to agreements and stipulations, without requiring the parties to appear and be canvassed by the judge and/or their counsel.
Of significant importance, this Executive Order will allow spouses to get divorced (so long as they have an agreement on all issues) without having to appear and be canvassed (either by the judge or their counsel). Generally, under Connecticut law, the parties to a divorce action must be present and canvassed (asked specific questions/testify to certain facts) in order for the judge to enter a judgment of dissolution, even when the parties have entered into a final agreement resolving the matter. This Executive Order will allow the parties, or their respective counsel, to submit the final agreement along with required affidavits of the parties to the Court such that the judge may enter a final judgment without their presence being required.
The procedure for obtaining a dissolution of judgment or legal separation under this Executive Order has not been finalized, and the Judicial Branch is in the process of drafting forms, affidavits and procedures for parties (and their counsel) to follow.
This Executive Order requires anyone who enters a courthouse to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering.
This Executive Order did not provide guidelines as to what would constitute a “cloth face covering,” but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides insightful guidelines for such coverings, as well as how to make your own.
Since his acceptance to the bar, Mark has practiced exclusively in the area of matrimonial and family law, including complex divorce actions involving significant assets and child custody issues, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and he has represented clients in Connecticut and New York trial courts, as well as the Connecticut Appellate Court.