For as long as I’ve been in practice, divorcing couples in Connecticut usually had to appear in court to finalize their divorces. This is no longer the case — at least for now.
When coronavirus first hit our area, the Judicial Branch closed most courthouses. While most agreed that this made sense from a public health perspective, it also meant that much of the business of the court stopped, because it was done in person.
The Connecticut Judicial Branch has since developed a procedure by which divorcing couples with agreements can finalize their divorces remotely — without ever going to court. While sometimes cumbersome, I’ve used it multiple times with clients. And it does work, most often well.
This is an obvious convenience to attorneys and clients. And it is, of course, safer in a health crisis.
Problems can arise when Judges have questions about agreements, often answered quickly in in-person hearings. They now require a more formal, often time-consuming procedure.
It’s not yet known whether this will be a permanent change, so stay tuned.