Divorce Basics: Residency Requirements and Determining Jurisdiction

How do I know when a Connecticut court has jurisdiction over my divorce case? 

It is important to understand when a court has proper jurisdiction over your divorce case. A person’s residency determines such a factor. For a court to have “jurisdiction” – that is, in order for a judge to have the authority to dissolve a marriage – one party must have been domiciled continuously in the State of Connecticut for a period of twelve months prior to the date that the court issues the judgment.

The residency requirement does not require you to have lived for the full year in the judicial district in which you have filed, and in fact, you may file for divorce before meeting the one-year requirement, as long as a full year has elapsed before the final date of your divorce.

There are also less frequently-used bases for jurisdiction as well: the cause for the divorce arose after you and your spouse moved to Connecticut (but before you had been in the state for a year); you were Connecticut residents before going on active military duty which took you out of state; or you were previously a resident of Connecticut and moved back to Connecticut with the intent of making Connecticut your permanent residence.

All of the above would give the courts in Connecticut the authority to grant your divorce. For further information and advice on this subject (especially if your factual circumstances are complicated), it is strongly suggested you seek the advice of an attorney.


If you have any questions about divorce in Connecticut, please contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com.