You should review the grounds for divorce at the Divorce Basics page of this website as you may use some of those grounds for divorce as a basis for some of the claims to be included in your complaint. You should inquire with counsel as to what your claims should be when you file your complaint.

It is important to gather all financial information available to you before you speak to anyone regarding a possible divorce action. The more information you obtain previous to filing the better off you will be.

This information includes, but is certainly not limited to, the following:

  • Your three previous years of federal income tax returns including W-2’s and 1099’s;
  • Twenty-four months of bank statements for any sole or joint bank accounts;
  • Your latest statement from any pension, IRA’s, 401k’s and/or deferred compensation plans;
  • Any appraisals of real property (within in the last six months).

It is also important to obtain, if possible, credit card statements and current balances of those credit cards that are in your name solely or jointly with your spouse.

A party to a divorce action is subject to automatic orders. You may review those orders by clicking on the link at this website’s home page. These orders explain in detail what you may or may not do concerning custody of children, including removing them from the State of Connecticut. Other areas covered are the preservation of assets and limiting the incurring of liabilities during the pendency of the court action. If it is imperative that you obtain funds for living expenses and/or attorney’s fees during the court action you may do so as the automatic orders allow for these types of transactions without consent from the other side. Please understand that although you are allowed to do so, your spouse or their counsel may request relief from the court in the form of a contempt motion if they feel it is unwarranted. It is advisable to obtain funds from marital accounts prior to filing but always be reasonable in doing so. Do not deplete accounts as the court may review any unreasonable withdrawals negatively after the divorce is served. The court has the authority to enter orders regarding assets taken prior to filing. Remember you want to be able to support yourself and/or your family for a brief time before court orders are entered but at the same time not expose yourself to punishment by the Family Court.

If you have the opportunity to obtain copies of any financial information regarding your spouse’s assets (i.e. 401k or pension plans), you should do so. This is especially important if you believe your spouse will attempt to keep that information from you. The law requires that all parties shall be fully informed regarding the others financial situation; however, the more informed you are going into your divorce the better prepared you will be. This type of preparation helps to relieve stress in a very stressful situation. Most importantly, your attorney will be one step ahead of the game in protecting your interests from the outset.

Finally, there are a variety of motions that may be served and returned to court with the complaint. They include the following:

  • Motions for custody and visitation of minor children;
  • Motions for support of minor children;
  • Motions for an alimony award for a qualified spouse; and
  • Motions for exclusive possession of marital property.

These motions and subsequent orders are called “pendente lite” as they are temporary until final orders are entered by the court.


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