Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Connecticut Divorce Laws



Residency Requirements for Divorce in Connecticut
The dissolution of marriage may be filed by either spouse if a resident. However, the dissolution of marriage will not be finalized until 1 spouse has been a resident for 1 year; unless 1 of the spouses was a resident of Connecticut at the time of the marriage and returned with the intention of permanent residence; or if the grounds for the dissolution of marriage arose in Connecticut. In cases which involve support, the dissolution of marriage is to be filed in the county in which the plaintiff resides. In all other cases, the dissolution of marriage may be filed in any county which is most convenient to both spouses.
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 44 and Title 51, Chapter 349].

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Connecticut

  1. No Fault Divorce:
    1. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
    2. Incompatibility and voluntary separation for 18 months with no reasonable prospect for reconciliation.
    [Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 40].
  2. General Divorce:
    1. Adultery
    2. Life imprisonment
    3. Confinement for incurable insanity for a total of 5 years
    4. Willful desertion and nonsupport for 1 year
    5. 7 years absence
    6. Cruel and inhuman treatment
    7. Fraud
    8. Habitual intemperance (drunkenness)
    9. Commission and/or conviction of an infamous crime involving a violation of conjugal duty and imprisonment for at least 1 year.
    [Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 40].

Legal Separation in Connecticut
A legal separation may be granted on the following grounds:

  1. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
  2. Incompatibility and voluntary separation
  3. Adultery
  4. Life imprisonment
  5. Confinement for incurable insanity for a total of 5 years
  6. Willful desertion and nonsupport for 1 year
  7. Cruel and inhuman treatment
  8. Fraud
  9. Habitual intemperance (drunkenness)
  10. Commission and/or conviction of an infamous crime involving a violation of conjugal duty and imprisonment for at least 1 year
There is no residency requirement noted in the statute.
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 40].

Simplified/Special Divorce Procedures in Connecticut
Proof of the breakdown of the marriage can be made by:

  1. The spouses signing an agreement or statement that their marriage is irretrievably broken
  2. Both spouses stating in court that their marriage is irretrievably broken and submitting an agreement concerning the care, custody, visitation, maintenance, support, and education after custody of their children, if any, and concerning alimony and the disposition of any property
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 51].

Divorce Mediation or Counseling Requirements
Within 90 days after the dissolution of marriage has been filed, either spouse or the attorney for any minor children may submit a request for conciliation to the clerk of the court. Two mandatory counseling sessions will be ordered. Mediation services may also be available from the court for property, financial, custody, and visitation issues.
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 53 and 53(a)].

Divorce Property Distribution
Connecticut is an "equitable distribution" state. The court may assign to either spouse all or part of the property of the other spouse, including any gifts and inheritances, based on the following factors:

  1. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker
  2. The length of the marriage
  3. The age and health of the spouses
  4. The occupation of the spouses
  5. The amount and sources of income of the spouses
  6. The vocational skills of the spouses
  7. The employability of the spouses
  8. The estate, liabilities, and needs of each spouse and the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income
  9. The circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the spouses
  10. The causes of the dissolution of marriage
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 81].

Alimony and Spousal Support
Alimony may be awarded to either spouse, based on the following factors:

  1. The causes for the dissolution of marriage, including any marital fault
  2. The distribution of the marital property
  3. Whether the spouse seeking support is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate for that spouse not to seek outside employment
  4. The duration of the marriage
  5. The age of the spouses
  6. The physical and emotional conditions of the spouses
  7. The usual occupation of the spouses during the marriage
  8. The needs of each spouse
  9. The vocational skills and employability of the spouse seeking support and alimony
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapters 82 and 86].

Spouse's Name After Divorce
Either spouse's birth name shall be restored upon request.
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 63].

Child Custody After Divorce
Joint or sole custody is awarded based upon the best interests of the child and the following factors:

  1. The causes for the dissolution of marriage if such causes are relevant to the best interests of the child
  2. The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and is capable of forming an intelligent choice
There are no other specific state guidelines for consideration. There is a presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of the child if both parents have agreed to joint custody.
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapters 56, 56a, 56b, and 84].

Child Support After Divorce
Either parent may be ordered to contribute child support, based on the following factors:

  1. The financial resources of the child
  2. The age, health, and station of the parents
  3. The occupation of each parent
  4. The earning capacity of each parent
  5. The amount and sources of income of each parent
  6. The vocational skills and employability of each parent
  7. The age and health of the child
  8. The child's occupation
  9. The vocational skills of the child
  10. The employability of the child
  11. The estate and needs of the child
  12. The relative financial means of the parents
Either parent may be ordered to provide health insurance for the child. There are official Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are presumed to be correct unless there is a showing that the amount would be inequitable or inappropriate under the particular circumstances in a case.
[Connecticut General Statutes Annotated; Title 46b, Chapter 84].


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