Divorce in Connecticut can be a lengthy process that is hard to understand. You may be unsure if you have the grounds for a divorce in Connecticut and how you would go about understanding the divorce process. In order to make intelligent, informed decisions, you should familiarize yourself with the topic and contact and attorney. Even if you decide to settle your divorce out of court, a divorce lawyer can answer any questions that you have and can help the process go smoothly.
In the state of Connecticut, “A marriage [or civil union] is dissolved only by (1) the death of one of the parties or (2) a decree of annulment or dissolution of marriage by a court of competent jurisdiction.” CONN. GEN. STAT. § 46b-40(a) (2008). Unless one of the parties is deceased, divorce can only occur through annulment or dissolution. However, it is important to note that these terms do not mean the same thing. An annulment considers the marriage void from the very beginning, while a dissolution considers a legitimate marriage to be dissolved only by the date that the divorce is actually settled. If a marriage is dissolved due to death, an annulment, or dissolution, these are considered “no fault grounds”. However, there are oftentimes different, more serious grounds for divorce that are taken into consideration.
In Connecticut, there are several grounds for divorce under CONN. GEN. STAT. § 46b-40(c) (2008). These grounds for divorce include well-known violations of trust such as adultery, severe cruelty or habitual intemperance. Other grounds for divorce include mental illness, separation of 18 months or more, imprisonment or crime, seven years absence, desertion, or fraudulent contract. Fraudulent contract is defined as one spouse severely deceiving another. It is understood that the deceived spouse has been left out of something extremely important dealing with the marriage or the other spouse, and that it will lead to the end of the marriage (Gould v. Gould, 78 Conn. 242, 261 (1905)). Divorce filed because of one of these infractions is filed under “fault grounds”. There can be multiple grounds considered in one divorce case, however, they must be substantially proven in order for a divorce to be completed on those grounds.
If you feel that you have been subjected to one or more of these grounds for divorce, and you would like to end your marriage, you should contact an attorney and consider your options. Begin building your case against your spouse and be sure to include as much evidence as possible. Divorce is never easy, but the sooner you make the decision to file for divorce, the sooner you can have a fresh start.