Getting divorced is an important decision. Before you decide to get a divorce, you may want to meet with a family counselor. A counselor is someone who can help you identify issues concerning your marriage and your decision to get a divorce.
If you cannot work out your differences, divorce is a way to legally end your marriage. If you decide to end your marriage, and you wish to represent yourself, it is called a pro se dissolution. Pro se means “for yourself.” Dissolution is the word Connecticut law uses for divorce.
“Pro se” should only be used when you and your spouse agree on the basic issues. If you and your spouse disagree about child custody or other important issues, you should seriously consider getting an attorney.
Not everyone can afford an attorney and court staff cannot give you legal advice. If you have a low income, you may be eligible for free legal services. To learn if you qualify for free legal services, you may call Statewide Legal Services at 1-800-453-3320. The intake workers who answer the telephone speak English and Spanish.
There are many stages of a divorce. When you and your spouse agree on basic issues, it takes approximately four months to complete a divorce. One way to reach an agreement on basic issues is to work with a mediator. The clerk’s office has lists of mediators who can help you for free or for a fee.
The Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division (CSSD), Family Services Office of the courts, can also mediate divorce cases. Its services are free. Regardless of who starts the divorce, the judge will listen carefully to you and to your spouse.
NOTE: The best way to find a marriage counselor is through word of mouth. Get a referral from someone you trust, like a friend, a pastor, or a social worker. You may also look in the yellow pages under any of these headings: Marriage Counselors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, or Social Workers.