How to File for Divorce in Connecticut Without Any Money

By Wayne Thomas

Costs can pile up in a divorce. Persons often forget that even if you do not hire an attorney to help with the divorce process, the court charges fees to initiate the case, as well as at various stages of the proceedings. However, Connecticut recognizes the harm that would result if low-income couples were forced to remain married because they were unable to afford a divorce. In these instances, the court offers fee waivers that may cover all or part of your divorce court fees.

Costs can pile up in a divorce. Persons often forget that even if you do not hire an attorney to help with the divorce process, the court charges fees to initiate the case, as well as at various stages of the proceedings. However, Connecticut recognizes the harm that would result if low-income couples were forced to remain married because they were unable to afford a divorce. In these instances, the court offers fee waivers that may cover all or part of your divorce court fees.

Application Process

Connecticut generally requires you to pay a fee when you file for divorce. If you cannot afford the fee, you may request that the court waive some or all of the fee requirements as well as other courts costs. You can make this request by submitting an application for waiver of fees, which the court clerk may supply. The form requires you to provide basic information about yourself, and supply details regarding your income and expenses. The application is considered a sworn statement, and must be either signed in front of the clerk or in the presence of a subscribing notary or attorney.

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Review Process

If you are currently receiving or qualify for public assistance, you will most likely be deemed eligible for a fee waiver in Connecticut. Public assistance includes food stamps, welfare, and Social Security benefits. If your income is too high to qualify, a judge may still grant your request if you have substantial expenses. An example might be if you are supporting several children from a prior marriage.

Approval

If the judge approves your request, your case can move forward. If you have not already initiated the divorce, you may obtain a complaint form and file it with the court clerk. The complaint asks you to state the reason, known as the grounds, for the divorce and include information about your property and children. As the case progresses, your fee waiver may allow you to avoid other fees, such as fees for serving paperwork on your spouse, fees for obtaining certified copies of court documents, parenting classes or mediation costs, and transcript or recording service fees.

Hearing

If a judge denies your request for a fee waiver, this means that you are deemed capable of paying and your case will not move forward until you submit the filing fee. However, Connecticut gives you the right to request a court hearing to review your application denial. This will give you the opportunity to present your case in greater detail, and have a more thorough examination of your income and expenses.

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How to File for Divorce in Arizona if Indigent

References

Related articles

How Much Does it Cost to File Divorce Papers?

Fees and other costs are inevitably part of divorce. The fees vary by each state and county court; in addition, legal fees charged by attorneys for assistance with the filing vary widely. If the divorce is contested, or if you have to negotiate terms, the time and money it takes to complete the process will increase.

How to Get an Indigent Divorce Though the Clerk of Courts

Every court has filing fees that must be paid at the initiation or filing of any action, including a divorce action. In addition to the actual filing fees, there may be fees for such items as a jury demand or interim support or custody motions. These fees can be substantial, and most states have provisions for waiving some or all of these fees for persons determined to be indigent.

Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs for Divorce

When you file a divorce petition, you are asked to pay a filing fee. If you cannot afford to pay it, you may be able to waive the fee by completing an affidavit called an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs, or as it is known in many states, an Affidavit of Indigency. If it's granted, your request affects only the filing costs, and not the overall costs of divorce itself. The financial requirements for filing an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs and receiving the waiver vary among states.

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