So you are finally here. The moment of truth. Today is the day your divorce becomes final. It’s an emotional time for you. My goal is too alleviate some of those concerns by letting you know what to expect at your final hearing. The scenario I’m going to describe is what happens at an uncontested divorce hearing in Connecticut, where the parties have come to an agreement on all issues. Prior to the hearing you want to make sure that all of your paperwork has been completed, that you have come to an agreement, and that agreement has been put in writing, reviewed and signed by you and your spouse (That’s where a mediator like me comes in). Next you will need to schedule your hearing with the court. Some courts have different schedules, such as designated days when they schedule their uncontested divorce hearings so check with your court in advance.
At the day of your hearing you are expected to have everything completed in advance. If you need something signed, or a form filed out, the court has a Court Service Center, manned by a clerk who can assist you. You want to get to the courtroom as early as possible for your allotted time, and check in with the courtroom clerk to let them know you are there and ready. This is important, especially if they take the cases on a first come first served basis. It's likely that you and your spouse wont be the only people in the courtroom. There may be other couples getting divorced, or other court matters that have to be handled, so don’t be alarmed.
Your case will be called, then you and any attorneys representing you will leave the gallery where the public sits and sit at separate tables. You, and or, your attorneys will announce who your are giving your name and address for the court record. The plaintiff (whoever filed the divorce) will be asked a series of questions by your attorney, or by the judge if you don't have an attorney. The purpose of these questions is to make sure that certain information gets on the record (date of the marriage, children, whether someone wants to go back to their maiden name). You will be asked if the marriage has broken down “irretrievably” which just means that the marriage is over with no hope of you both getting back together. Your attorney or the judge if you are self represented will ask you about the agreement, whether you have read it and whether you believe it is fair and equitable. Then it’s your spouse’s turn to identify himself or herself, get asked some questions, and also be asked about the agreement, and whether its fair and equitable. The judge will make some statements and announce that you are divorced, and that’s it. Not including the time you are waiting to be called, the whole process takes between 10-20 minutes. After the hearing you can request a copy of your divorce decree from the clerk's office for a fee.
At Success Mediation we not only prepare you for the divorce hearing by helping you resolve your disputes, and preparing all documentation needed, but we also help you understand what to expect before, at the final hearing, and prepare you for your life post divorce. Visit our website at gladstonelegal.net or give us a call so we can help you find a better way to get through your divorce or any of your family law needs.