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Connecticut Grounds for Divorce

The Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage is the initial document filed with the Connecticut court. It is in this document that the filing spouse will request the court to terminate the marriage under certain specified grounds.

A decree of dissolution of a marriage or a decree of legal separation shall be granted upon a finding that one of the following causes has occurred:

No Fault Based Grounds:
(1) The marriage has broken down irretrievably; (2) the parties have lived apart by reason of incompatibility for a continuous period of at least 18 months.

Fault Based Grounds:
(1) adultery; (2) Fraud; (3) wilful desertion for 1 year; (4) seven years’ absence, during all of which period the absent party has not been heard from; (5) habitual intemperance; (6) intolerable cruelty (mental and verbal); (7) imprisonment for a period in excess of one year; (8) mental illness for at least 5 years.

Habitual intemperance shall be a sufficient ground if the cause of action is proved to have existed until the time of the separation of the parties.

Wilful desertion for one year is defined as total neglect of duty, the furnishing of financial support shall not disprove total neglect of duty, in the absence of other evidence.

Adultery" is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than such person’s spouse. (Connecticut General Statutes - Title 46b - Chapter 40)