Many factors can complicate a divorce. If you or your spouse get accused of committing certain crimes, it can have an impact on your divorce proceedings. You can learn more here.

Orders by Judges

When a person going through a divorce gets arrested, they can have a protective order against them. Your spouse may not commit a crime, but you could still feel afraid of them. In this situation, you may be eligible for a restraining order. Restraining orders are civil orders. They occur through the civil courthouse and have basis in CGS 53a-151. This allows a court to restrain someone from tampering with a witness in an official proceeding/imminent proceeding). If a restraining order gets granted, the court will issue a temporary order. Then they will set a date for a hearing not more than 2 weeks into the future.

At that time, the person who asked for the protective order will have to establish evidence explaining why it should continue. If they fail to make a case, the restraining order will end. Protective orders get issued in criminal court at the time of arraignment. There are 2 types, full or partial. Full protective orders pursuant to CGS 54-63c orders a person not to have any contact, in any manner with the alleged victim. Partial prohibits a person from doing anything already illegal to a defendant. This includes stalking, harassing, etc. But, it does not prohibit otherwise legal contact evidentiary hearings on protective prders. You are entitled to have a judge hear the evidence before a protective order is issued.

State v. Fernando

The case of State v. Fernando A. (2009) sets forth the applicable law. If you do not request the hearing as soon as possible, you may be waiving your right to contest the order of the court. This order can significantly impact your life. “In this public interest appeal, we consider the nature of the hearing that a defendant must receive prior to the issuance of a criminal protective order in a family violence case (criminal protective order) pursuant to General Statutes § 54-63c (b).

The defendant, Fernando A., appeals, upon the grant of his application filed pursuant to General Statutes § 52- 265a,3 from the trial court’s denial of his request for an evidentiary hearing prior to the issuance of a criminal protective order. We conclude that § 54-63c (b), and the cross-referenced General Statutes § 46b-38c,4 permit the trial court to issue a criminal protective order at the defendant’s arraignment after consideration of oral argument and the family violence intervention unit’s report (family services report).

We also conclude that the trial court is required to hold, at the defendant’s request made at the initial hearing, a subsequent hearing within a reasonable period of time at which the state will be required to prove the continued necessity of that order by a fair preponderance of the evidence, which may include reliable hearsay. Because the defendant did not receive this subsequent hearing as requested, we reverse the decision of the trial court.

Criminal Records and Expungement

Your criminal record will not be considered by the judge in determining your divorce. But, you may want to consider applying for a pardon for prior criminal conduct. This can help if you are in the process of starting a new life. The pardon process can be complicated, and sometimes a lawyer can help navigate the paperwork and assist you in presenting the best case for your Connecticut pardon.

Divorce and DUI in Connecticut

If involved in a custody dispute, or if you have a vindictive spouse who would like to start one, a DUI case or conviction can be used against you in family court. Automatic license suspensions may make it difficult to exercise visitation with your children. You may also find a court who will refuse to let you transport the children due to a conviction or a license suspension. This increases the cost or difficulty in seeing your kids. If you are seeking an adoption, a DUI conviction may be used against you. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has long advocated putting a provision in every divorce decree calling for immediate suspension of parental rights if the parent if found to be driving while intoxicated.

Make sure that you review your divorce decree. Check for any such language included. Also, decide whether or not you will engage in negotiations to remove this language. If you are contemplating a divorce and have a DUI conviction or you and/or your spouse is dealing with a DUI case, contact us. You can talk about how to best approach this sticky situation.