What is the Case Management Date in a Connecticut Divorce?

Relocation Attorney Meghan FreedIt’s no surprise that we are often asked what the Case Management Date is in a Connecticut divorce.  There are two dates that are established right when you first initiate a divorce in Connecticut — the “Return Date” and the “Case Management Date” — and they are on two of the legal documents that start the divorce, the Summons and Complaint.  So, this legal term is one of the first ones that people see when a Connecticut divorce begins.

What is the Divorce Case Management Date in Connecticut?

The Case Management Date marks the end of the 90 “cooling off” period in Connecticut.  It is traditionally the first day a couple is eligible to get divorced.  The most common exception to this is when the spouses have reached a full agreement and request the court waive the 90 Day Waiting Period.  This is frequently done in mediations and collaborative divorces and is also utilized in some litigated divorces.

How Do You Select the Case Management Date?

The court annually issues Case Management Dates for each return date.  They vary from court to court, unlike with the Return Date.  For example, in 2019, the Hartford, Middletown, New Britain, New London, Norwich, and Putnam courts set their Case Management Dates on a Monday schedule.  The Bridgeport, Danbury, New Haven, and Meridan family courts were on a Tuesday schedule.  The Milford court used Wednesdays, and Torrington, Rockville, Stamford, and Waterbury all had Thursday Case Management dates.

Do I Have to go to Connecticut Divorce Court on the Case Management Date?

If you reached an agreement before the Case Management Date, you may be able to get divorced in court that day.  If the parties haven’t reached an agreement, they must file a Case Management Agreement with the court.  Filing the Case Management Agreement means you do not have to appear in court unless there is a dispute on how to handle parenting.

What is a Case Management Agreement?

The Case Management Agreement gives the court a snapshot of where your case stands.  It flags what financial and parenting issues are resolved, and what issues remain outstanding.  It is filed along with financial affidavits and a signed temporary parenting plan (if one exists).

The Case Management Agreement also includes proposed timing for the divorce — including by when discovery requests will be made, discovery completed, depositions taken, appraisals done, and experts disclosed, and when the parties plan to be ready for a settlement conference at the court.  These dates are not set in stone and can (and do) often move.  Sometimes that’s because they don’t work for the court, sometimes as the case evolves the dates don’t make sense anymore.  It’s also important to note that you and your spouse can agree to proceed with your case more quickly than the deadlines found in your Case Management Agreement — including reaching an agreement and getting divorced.

Next Steps

Now that we have learned about the Case Management Date in Connecticut Divorces, what’s next?

At Freed Marcroft, we want you to understand what is happening in your divorce — including what different terminology applies.  Depending on your goals, skilled divorce counsel can develop a legal strategy keyed into those goals.  Everything from when to have your spouse served, to what Return Date to select, to how the Case Management date can assist you in accomplishing your goals can be included in your plan.

Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals for your life. Once we discover your goals at the Goals and Planning Conference, we are able to take our collective experience with divorce, law, the available ways to divorce, strategy, courts, judges, and other lawyers, and build a divorce customized for you.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.

Written by Meghan Freed