Children | Family Violence | Filing Papers |
General Information | Going to Court
Children in Family Matters
Family Violence Help
- Where can I get information about Child Support Enforcement Services?
- Is there a list of individuals qualified to be appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or Attorney for a Minor Child (AMC) in a family case?
Filing Papers with the Court
- Where can I get help about family/domestic violence?
General Information about Family Matters
- Are there forms for family matters?
- What does it cost to file papers with the court?
Going to Court
- What kinds of matters are decided in family court in Connecticut?
- Where are the courts for family matters?
- Can I look up my family case online?
- Where can I get more information or help?
- Can I hire a lawyer to help me with part of my court case?
- How do I get a copy of my divorce decree (or other document filed in my divorce case)?
- Who decides family matters?
- What is “Family Services” (sometimes called “Family Relations”)?
- What does it mean for a family case to be “uncontested?”
- What if the case is not uncontested?
1. Where can I get information about Child Support Enforcement Services?
Information about Child Support Enforcement Services is on the Judicial Branch website at
Support Enforcement Services.
2. Is there a list of individuals qualified to be appointed as a Guardian Ad
Litem (GAL) or Attorney for a Minor Child (AMC) in a family case?
The following is the list of individuals who have completed the training required by Practice Book Sections 25-62 & 25-62A and who are available to accept appointments from the court. Only a lawyer can be appointed as an Attorney for a Minor Child. The list displays an “X” in each court location for which the individual will take appointments. The “X” will be accompanied by an asterisk (*) in each court location for which the individual has been approved by, and is under contract with, the Division of Public Defender Services (DPDS) for payment by the state where a Judge or Family Support Magistrate orders state payment because of the financial circumstances of the parties. In the column entitled “Languages” you will find inserted any language(s) in which the individual reported having proficiency.
"Titles" are provided by the listed individuals.
3. Where can I get help about family/domestic violence?
If you are being physically abused or threatened
with physical abuse, you should contact the police and the family violence
program nearest you. You may apply to the court for a restraining order to
help protect you. Information about the restraining order process and
domestic/family violence programs is in this brochure: "Restraining
Orders: How to Apply for Relief from Abuse.
4. Are there forms for family matters?
There are many Family Matters Forms
available on the Judicial Branch website for the public to use. The forms
all have a name and a form number in the upper left corner. What you are
asking the court to help you with would determine which form you would use.
For example, if you are asking the court to modify a child support order,
you would use the Motion for Modification form, number JD-FM-174.
5. What does it cost to file papers with the court?
There are different fees for different kinds of
things that you might be filing with the court. The fees are listed in the
6. What kinds of matters are decided in family court in Connecticut?
The following are family matters in Connecticut:
Although some states consider them family matters, in Connecticut,
Juvenile Matters are handled in a separate
Juvenile Court and adoptions are handled in
- Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage and Dissolution of Civil Union)
- Legal Separation
- Name Changes
- Custody of Children
- Civil Restraining Orders (Relief From Abuse)
- Visitation of Children
- Child Support
7. Where are the courts for family matters?
Although there are some exceptions, hearings in family matters are held in the Judicial District courthouses of the Superior
Directory of Judicial District Courthouses is available and
may also be found on this web site. The date and location of any court event
on a case would be on the paperwork sent to you by the court about that
event. For example, if you have a hearing on a
calendar, the information about when and where to go would be on the
copy of the calendar that is sent to you. If the court has sent you a notice
about an event, the information would be in the notice. If court papers were
delivered to you or served on you that show that a hearing is scheduled, the
date, time and location of the hearing would be in that paperwork. Court
staff at the Clerk’s Office or Court Service Center where the case was filed
can help anyone with questions about when and where to come to court.
8. Can I look up my family case online?
Usually, you can see a summary of your case
online in the Civil/Family Case
Look-up after it has been filed, although no papers filed in the case
can be seen online.
With some exceptions (such as divorces, which stay on the website for about 10 years), cases stay on
the website for a length of time that follows the schedule in
Sections 7-10 and 7-11 of the Connecticut Practice Book.
However, federal law prohibits certain information about restraining orders from being put on a
public website, so if you are involved in a restraining order case, you will
not be able to see information about your case online.
9. Where can I get more information or help?
- You may want to talk to an attorney if you think
you need help with your case. The “Find
a Lawyer” section of the Judicial Branch website may help you find an
- Most Judicial District courthouses have a Court
Service Center. Court Service Centers are self-help centers that provide
services for self-represented parties and others. They are staffed by
Judicial Branch employees and some Court Service Centers have bilingual
- There are also a number of
Judicial Branch Publications
about Family Matters. You can find them on the Judicial Branch web site
and at Judicial District court locations. You may also want to review the “Self-Help”
section of the Judicial Branch website for information that could apply to
your situation, as well as the “Links
Related to Family”.
- The Connecticut Network for Legal Aid
also has a number of self-help booklets for certain family matters that are on their web site.
- Additional information is also available at the Law Libraries.
- See Limited Scope Representation - Frequently Asked Questions.
- The Judicial Branch has
Volunteer Attorney Programs.
10. Can I hire a lawyer to help me with part of my court case?
For information about hiring a lawyer for part of your court case, please see the Limited
Scope Representation Frequently Asked Questions. You may also download the
Hiring a Lawyer for Part of Your Legal Matter (“Limited Scope Representation”) - PDF
11. How do I get a copy of my divorce decree (or other document filed in my divorce case)?
A copy of a document filed in your divorce
case can generally be obtained from the Judicial District Clerk's Office in
the court location where the divorce took place. Your divorce decree is
referred to as the "Judgment File." The Clerk's Office will need your case
name and docket number (the number that was assigned to the case), and there
for copying and certifying. Judgment Files have a flat fee, other documents
have a per page copying fee with a certification fee, if needed.
12. Who decides family matters?
14. What does it mean for a family case to be “uncontested?”
"Uncontested" is a word that is used to describe
a case where the parties agree on all of the issues. “Contested” describes a
case where the parties do not agree on all of the issues. In an
uncontested case, the court is not asked to decide any contested issues, but
is asked to review and approve the agreement of the parties. The court must
find that the agreement of the parties is fair and equitable.
Judges decide most family matters. However, if a Paternity or Support case is
brought under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, or a party to the case
signs up for IV-D services for the collection or enforcement of child
support, a family support
magistrate would decide the matter.
For more information, see Support Enforcement
Services Child Support.
13. What is “Family Services” (sometimes called “Family Relations”)?
The Family Services Office
of the Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division (CSSD) is sometimes
referred to as “Family Relations” in family court. The Family Services
Office provides negotiation, mediation and evaluation services to help the
court and clients resolve child custody/access and financial matters. Family
Services staff also work in the criminal court with defendants who have been
arrested for family violence and provide assessments and
recommendations focusing on victim safety and risk reduction. A description
of the services provided by CSSD is in the
Family Services Programs brochure.
15. What if the case is not uncontested?
In any family case where the parties do not have
an agreement, it may be handled in a way that gives the parties a chance to
settle the case. For example, the case may be assigned for a Special Masters
pretrial, where experienced attorneys who volunteer their time meet with the
attorneys and the parties in the case to try to solve the issues. There are
a number of other programs to help the case to be decided without a trial.
Which program is right depends on the case. If the case can be decided
without a trial, it can be handled as an uncontested case, sometimes on the
same day. However, if the parties are not able to agree, a hearing or trial
will be needed and a judge will decide, or a family support magistrate will
decide if it is a IV-D child support case.