Divorce Basics2017-10-12T10:11:00+00:00

In Connecticut, the Superior Court handles cases involving divorce. The governing law for divorce in Connecticut is Chapter 815(j): Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation and Annulment. The person filing for divorce is known as the plaintiff and the person responding to the divorce is known as the defendant.

Within any divorce, issues that must be considered in such actions are as follows, yet some may not apply to your case:

  • Child custody;
  • Child support;
  • Visitation of children;
  • Division of assets/property;
  • Alimony;
  • Division of debt;
  • And more.

To file for a divorce in any state, you must satisfy the state’s residency requirements. In Connecticut, there are three ways to establish residency for filing a divorce:

(1) one of the parties to the marriage must be a resident of Connecticut for at least 12 months prior to the date of filing the divorce,

(2) one of the parties was domiciled (i.e. permanently resided in CT) at the time of marriage and returned to the state with the intention of permanently staying in Connecticut, or

(3) the cause for dissolution of the marriage arose after either party moved into the state.


See Sec. 46b-44(c) for full text of the law.

Grounds for divorce means the legally recognized reasons for divorcing. Connecticut recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Traditionally, all states had only “fault” grounds for divorce (adultery, cruelty, abuse, etc.). Many states have abolished fault grounds altogether and only utilize “no-fault” grounds. However, Connecticut retains grounds for fault-based divorces. See the list of Connecticut’s grounds for divorce below:

No-fault grounds in CT:

  • The marriage has broken down irretrievably, or
  • Living apart for at least 18 months immediately prior to the service of the divorce complaint
  • See 46b-40(c) for full text of the law.

Fault grounds in CT:

  • Adultery,
  • Fraudulent contract,
  • Wilful desertion for 1 year,
  • 7 years of absence,
  • Habitual intemperance,
  • Intolerable cruelty,
  • Imprisonment in excess of 1 year, or
  • Legal confinement in an institution.
  • See 46b-40(c) for full text of the law.