September 29, 2015

The Importance of Automatic Orders in Dissolution of Marriage and Child Custody/Visitation Actions

This guide reviews the importance of Automatic Orders in all divorce and child custody/visitation actions in the state of Connecticut.

  1. What are Automatic Orders?

    Upon the commencement of a divorce or child custody/visitation action in the state of Connecticut, the judiciary has formulated automatic orders that become effective upon the marshal serving the dissolution of marriage or child custody/visitation complaint. These orders consist of both financial and non-financial restrictions that must be followed by both litigants. In all, there are a total of 14 orders. This guide will review all of the orders and explain their importance.
  2. Automatic Orders relating to Children

    There are a total of 4 orders that relate to children. These orders are as follows: 1) Neither party can permanently remove the children from the state of Connecticut without the written consent of the other or a court order, 2) If the parents live apart during the proceedings, they must cooperate with one another so that the children maintain usual contact with both parents in person, in writing and by phone; 3) Neither party may take the children off the health insurance they have in place at the commencement of the proceedings; and 4) Both parents are required to complete the parenting education class within 60 days of the return date. The class is offered as one full day seminar or two half day seminars and the cost is $125.00 each. These orders are extremely important and must be followed by both parents.
  3. Automatic Orders relating to Finances and Property

    There are a total of 8 orders that relate to financial information. These orders are as follows: 1) Neither parent shall dispose , give away or transfer any property without the prior written consent of the other party unless the funds are used for the usual household expenses and business and/or reasonable attorney's fees for the instant action; 2) Hide any property from the other; 3) Mortgage any property except in the usual course of business or for ordinary household expenses and/or reasonable attorney's fees for the instant action; 4) Have any asset that is owned by both parties to be in only one person's name unless by way of court order or written agreement of the parties; 5) Go into unreasonable debt by borrowing money or using credit cards and cash advances unreasonably; 6) If the parties are living together at the time of service of the papers, they cannot deny the other party use of the marital home without court order; 7) Both parties must exchange financial affidavits within 30 days after the return date; 8) Remove the other party off any dental, medical, or other health insurance and refrain from changing the beneficiary of any life insurance policies. These orders are extremely important and must be followed by both parties.
  4. Additional Automatic Orders

    In addition to the above, the court also orders that if you move out of the family home you must notify the other party in writing within 48 hours of your new address or where you will be receiving mail. In addition, none of the automatic orders replace or modify any court orders that are already in place.
  5. What Can Happen if One Party Fails to Follow the Automatic Orders?

    in the event either party fails to follow the automatic orders they are essentially disobeying a valid court order. Thus, a contempt motion can be filed by the other party where the alleged misconduct would be articulated to the court. If at a hearing the court finds you in willful contempt of an automatic order, the judge has the authority to issue a wide variety of sanctions, such as monetary fines, suspension of licenses, and in some cases, incarceration. This is why it is extremely important to follow all automatic orders.


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