Connecticut Divorce Laws

Divorce Laws in Connecticut

The state of Connecticut requires that all those petitioning for divorce be Connecticut residents for a minimum of twelve months prior to filing. If not all the necessary residency requirements are met, the case will be dismissed.

The state says that only one of the individuals involved must be a Connecticut resident. The individuals are not required to have been married in Connecticut nor do the individuals need to have lived in Connecticut at any time of their marriage.

Connecticut only requires that one individual is of Connecticut residency at the date of filing. Those who are stationed in Connecticut for military purposes or who are on active duty in Connecticut are considered to be state residents. This includes both the Marines and the Armed Forces.

Divorce residency requirements

When applying for dissolution of marriage in Connecticut certain requirements must have been met. These are as follows:

  • At least one of the spouses has been living in the state for a period of no less than 12 months preceding the date of filing the claim.
  • One of the spouses was living in the state at the time of the marriage and returned with the intention of remaining in the state permanently when applying for a divorce.
  • The reason for the breakup of the marriage occurred after either of the spouses moved to the state.

Filing Grounds of Connecticut

Every divorce in the United State is required to be based on legal grounds. These grounds need to be stated at the time of the divorce filing. The individuals involved can agree upon the necessary grounds together or one individual may petition the court for a divorce on decided grounds. He or she is then required to prove these grounds before the court.

Each state has its own set of grounds for which it deems legal. The first of these is the category of No-Fault grounds. No-Fault grounds state that a marriage is broken beyond repair or the individuals involved have lived at separate residences for a minimum of eighteen months. Both of these cases state that no reconciliation is possible. No-Fault grounds state that no particular individual is responsible for the marriage’s disintegration.

The second category is the Fault grounds. These grounds include fraudulent acts, adultery, the lawful confinement into a mental hospital for a total of five years, intolerable acts of cruelty, an extended and willful absence of no less than seven years, willful neglect, and desertion for a minimum of one year, or the imprisonment for a life sentence in a state institution or imprisonment of a minimum of one year for the involvement in violation conjugal duties.

Legal separation is required to be proven in court along with the amount of time where the individuals did not reside in the same home.

In order to apply for dissolution of marriage, there must be a good reason and the court in Connecticut will consider granting the divorce for the following reasons:

No-faults based grounds for divorce

  • Due to incompatibility, the spouses have lived apart for a period of 18 months or more
  • The marriage has broken down and it cannot be resolved

Fault-based grounds for divorce

  • Fraud
  • Desertion for a period of 1 year or more
  • Adultery
  • An absence of 7 years in which the spouse has not been heard from
  • Mental or verbal intolerable cruelty
  • Imprisonment for at least 1 year
  • Mental illness that has lasted for a period of 5 years
  • Habitual intemperance

Division of property during divorce

Connecticut is considered to be an equitable state, which means that all the property will not necessarily be distributed equally. Equitably means that all the property will be split in a fair fashion. If the individuals cannot decide on who should keep which kind of property, the court will make the decision.

The court will consider the spouses’ contribution to the household, child custody, financial status, employment, opportunities for employment, marriage length, estates, liabilities, and education before awarding the property.

Under the marital separation agreement, the spouses can divide assets such as property between themselves. However, if they are unable to do this then the court will do it on their behalf. Connecticut is known as an equitable state, which means the property will be divided fairly. They will consider the following:

  • The property will be assessed to determine which is classed as marital
  • A monetary value is then placed on marital property and divided equitably
  1. Length of marriage is taken into account
  2. Cause for the annulment
  3. Cause for dissolution
  4. Health
  5. Occupation and income
  6. Employability

Child custody factors

The court will of course take into account many factors when granting child custody. They will always take into account what is in the best interests of the child. Here are some of the factors that are taken into account:

  • The child`s thoughts on custody will be taken into account when deciding who gets custody
  • The reasons for requesting a dissolution of marriage may be taken into account
  • Whether or not spouses have taken part in the parent education program established pursuant to section 46b-69b
  • If the spouses have decided on joint custody then they must prove to the court that this is in the best interests of the child
  • Should the court decline to award joint child custody then must give reasons for the denial. Connecticut General Statutes – Title 46b – Chapter 56 and 84

Child support

Child support may be asked for based on the following and this applies to either of the spouses:

  • The financial resources of the child
  • The health, age, and station in life of the parents
  • Each of the parent’s occupations
  • How much each spouse earns
  • The sources of income of each spouse
  • The employability of the child
  • The needs and estate of the child
  • The relative financial means and status of the parents

Spousal Support

Spousal support can be awarded on temporary or permanent bases. Spousal support is not automatically awarded in each case. The court will weigh all the necessary factors before assigning alimony or denying a request for spousal support. If the individual with child custody has a lesser financial means, he or she may be awarded spousal support in addition to child support.

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