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What’s the Difference Between a Pretrial and a Trial in a Connecticut Divorce?

What's the difference between a pretrial and a trial?We were recently asked what the difference is between a pretrial and a trial in the context of a Connecticut divorce.  It’s a reasonable question.  Even if you are well-versed in your prefixes thanks to English or Latin class in school — the fact that a “pre”-trial happens “before” the trial is hardly the whole story — or enough information.  Read on to learn how pretrials differ from trials in Connecticut divorces.

Pretrials vs. Trials in Connecticut Divorces

“Pretrial” is generally used as shorthand for “pretrial conference.”

A pretrial conference is a Court-mandated settlement meeting that takes place in litigated divorces.

A trial is when the two parties to a dispute present information (in the form of evidence) in a formal setting before a court with the authority to adjudicate (or decide) their claims or disputes.

In other words, in a pretrial, the Court brings the parties together to assist them in deciding how to resolve their disputes themselves.  In a trial, the parties’ respective lawyers present their clients’ cases to the judge, who issues a ruling deciding issues that the parties have been unable to decide on their own.

Special Masters Pretrials vs. Judicial Pretrials

There are two types of pretrials in Connecticut divorces:

  • Special Masters Pretrials, and
  • Judicial Pretrials.

In both, professionals experienced with Connecticut divorce law are there to help the parties reach an agreement.  In a judicial pretrial, that person is a judge.  In a special masters pretrial, one or two experienced divorce lawyers volunteer their time to assist spouses in resolving their disputes.

Next Steps

At Freed Marcroft, we want you to understand what is happening in your divorce — including how pretrials work.  To learn more about what to expect at a pretrial and what happens afterward, please click here.  Depending on your goals, skilled divorce counsel can develop a legal strategy keyed into those goals.

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