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Divorce Laws in Connecticut

Divorce in Connecticut is called “dissolution of marriage.” There is a 90 day waiting period. When divorce is filed, automatic orders are issued requiring both parties to “maintain the status quo” meaning that both spouses are prohibited from transferring assets, terminating insurance, or taking any action that would substantially affect finances. These orders remain in place until the divorce is final.

Residency and Jurisdiction
Laws regarding residence in Connecticut are more stringent and complicated than most states:

  • One of the parties to the marriage has been a resident of the State for at least the twelve months next preceding the date of the filing of the complaint or next preceding the date of the decree
  • One of the parties was domiciled in the State at the time of the marriage and returned to the State with the intention of permanently remaining before the filing of the complaint
  • The cause for the dissolution of the marriage arose after either party moved into the State

Divorce can be filed as soon as one spouse moves to the State, but cannot be finalized until the twelve month period has been satisfied.

Fault or No Fault and Grounds for Divorce
Connecticut allows fault and no fault divorces. Grounds for no fault divorce are as follows:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
  • Parties have lived apart by reason of incompatibility for a continuous period of at least the eighteen months

Grounds for fault divorce are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Fraudulent contract
  • Wilful desertion for one year
  • Seven years' absence, during all of which period the absent party has not been heard from
  • Habitual intemperance
  • Intolerable cruelty
  • Imprisonment
  • Five years confinement for mental illness

Division of Property
Connecticut uses the “all property equitable distribution” system. This is different from normal equitable distribution in that property acquired before marriage and separately during the marriage, such as inheritance and gifts, is not excluded as it is in most states.
Fault is considered in property distribution.

Spousal support
If no spousal support is awarded at the time of divorce it can never be awarded. The court can award $1.00 a year in support in order to allow for later support modification.
Fault is considered when calculating support.
Unlike some states which will terminate or modify support merely due to the fact that the supported spouse begins living with another person, in Connecticut the new living arrangement must alter the financial needs of the recipient in order to constitute grounds for modification of support payments.

Child Custody and Support
Parents must take parenting classes when divorcing.
Child support and any other court ordered support payments are automatically deducted from wages in all cases, unless both parties agree to wave this provision. If waived, the receiving party can reinstate the automatic withholding if the paying party fails to make payment on time.

If you are facing or considering divorce in Connecticut, contact an experienced Connecticut divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Connecticut and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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