I am happy to report that divorce in the State of Connecticut is moving in the right direction. There is a growing acceptance of the benefits of the non-adversarial divorce methods of mediation and collaborative divorce. Change is slow, but all positive change is welcome.
No Need to Serve Divorce Papers
There is no longer a requirement that a marshal “serve” the Summons and Complaint upon the defendant in a divorce action. We do not yet have a joint petition for divorce permitting a couple to jointly file for divorce. Instead, even in mediation, one party, the plaintiff, must sue his or her spouse, the defendant, for a divorce. One day we will hopefully be able to avoid framing divorce in the context of a lawsuit. In the meantime, we have eliminated the requirement that a marshal serve the papers on the defendant.
Waiver of the 90 day “Cooling Off” Period for Divorce
When a divorce action is begun in Connecticut, a couple must wait 90 days before they can have their divorce hearing and finalize their divorce. Many couples that I work with in divorce mediation have reached agreement on all issues before the expiration of 90 days. Now, a couple may have an expedited hearing by waiving the so-called “cooling off” period. This allows couples using divorce mediation or collaborative divorce to better control the timing of the process to suit their needs and the needs of their family. While this change in the divorce process is less significant than the waiver of service of process, it acknowledges the way that the divorce process is changing.