No-Fault in Connecticut
What is the no-fault rule? What does it mean to have no-fault divorce? How does it work in CT? Does it apply to me? The general rule in Connecticut, and other “no-fault” jurisdictions is that a spouse is not required to prove “grounds” (a reason) to obtain a dissolution of marriage. Where fault does not exist, a court will grant a divorce on the ground that the marriage has simply “broken down irretrievably with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.” Nevertheless, many divorcing spouses will come into litigation painfully aware of the “cause” for the breakdown of the relationship – which begs the question: if the other spouse was the reason for the divorce, will the judge listen, and will it matter?
The answer is yes, to some degree. In fact, fault is part of the statutory framework of divorce in Connecticut, and although a party is not required to allege or prove fault, he or she is permitted to do so. If a party does allege fault, a judge may take the allegations into consideration when deciding how to divide the marital property and/or whether (and how much) alimony should be awarded to one spouse or the other.
When the fault alleged by one party is substantial, and when it substantially contributes to the breakdown of the marriage or the loss of marital assets, a court is more likely to award that party a greater share of the assets or more alimony. Nevertheless, in the vast majority of court decisions judges mention fault as alleged by one side or the other, but usually find the parties equally responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.
If you have any questions about divorce in Connecticut, please contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com.