Understanding "No-Fault" Divorce

by McConnell Family Law

Connecticut Divorce Lawyer

In many states, it’s still law that the person filing for divorce has to prove their spouse was at fault for the dissolution of their marriage. However, Connecticut has the option of a “no-fault” divorce for marriages that are irretrievably broken. This is good news for couples who have simply grown apart or can’t solve their differences.
In this blog, we are highlighting our New Haven office, which is one of five convenient locations. Understanding “no-fault” divorce is crucial in navigating the complex legal landscape of marital dissolution in Connecticut. At McConnell Family Law Group, our New Haven divorce lawyers can guide you through this process, offering legal advice and representation every step of the way. We understand the emotional and legal challenges that come with divorce, and we are committed to helping you achieve a fair resolution. Contact us today at (203) 349-9289 to schedule a consultation.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

Under Connecticut law, married couples have the option to obtain a divorce without the necessity of assigning fault. The state of Connecticut allows a no-fault divorce when there is no chance of reconciliation for you and your spouse. A no-fault divorce is the most common Connecticut divorce procedure. All that is required is for one of the spouses to testify (often in an uncontested hearing) – that there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no hope of reconciliation.” The other party cannot impede or stop this from occurring. Thus, the moving party does not need to allege or prove any type of fault (e.g. adultery, physical abuse, mental abuse etc…).

One of the key advantages of seeking a no-fault divorce is that it doesn’t necessitate proving fault or blame on either spouse for the marriage’s dissolution. While fault is not required for dissolution, it is a factor Connecticut courts consider when determining the equitable distribution of property and alimony.

In order to qualify for a no-fault divorce in Connecticut, the primary requirement is to meet the state’s residency criteria. To satisfy these conditions, you and your spouse must meet one of the following three options:

  • One spouse must have established residency in Connecticut for a minimum of twelve months before initiating the divorce proceedings.
  • Both spouses must have previously lived in Connecticut during their marriage, temporarily relocated elsewhere, and returned with the intent to stay in the state.
  • The marriage must have experienced a “breakdown” after one of the spouses relocated to Connecticut.

If you and your spouse have met the residency requirement in Connecticut, the sole remaining criteria for obtaining a no-fault divorce is to demonstrate an “irretrievable breakdown” of your marriage. Agreement on this issue from both spouses is not mandatory. If at least one spouse is willing to testify that the marriage is irretrievably broken, you can move forward with a no-fault divorce.

Understanding the complexities of a no-fault divorce is crucial when navigating the dissolution of a marriage. At McConnell Family Law Group, our New Haven divorce lawyers can help you navigate the process, ensuring you comprehend the implications and benefits of a no-fault divorce. We possess a deep understanding of divorce law and can provide invaluable assistance in achieving a fair and amicable separation. Contact us today and take the first step towards a smoother divorce process.

Filing for a No-Fault Divorce

Whether you file for a no-fault or fault divorce in Connecticut, the process is the same. The plaintiff spouse files a complaint in the superior court located in the judicial district where they or their spouse lives. This complaint must list the reason(s) for the divorce and provide information about children resulting from the marriage. The complaint may also ask the court to award alimony or child support, restore a maiden name, grant legal and physical custody of the children, and divide marital debts and assets.

After the complaint is filed, the plaintiff must serve their spouse with that complaint, as well as the court summons, and notice of automatic court orders. This can be done by contacting the state marshal to deliver the papers to your spouse. In some cases, your spouse may waive service of process and sign a formal legal document excusing formal service. Automatic court orders go into effect as soon as a divorce case is filed for the plaintiff and upon service on the defendant. They’re meant to prevent both spouses from doing something rash that could affect marital property or children without the other spouse’s consent. For example, moving out of state with the kids or selling the marital home or incurring an encumbered-line of credit. The terms of these orders may be modified by agreement of the parties or by the judge who can change them as he/she deems appropriate.

If you and your spouse are equally at fault, or there is no fault for the breakdown of your marriage, a no-fault divorce can be the best solution for dissolving marital ties. Talking to a compassionate and experienced lawyer at the McConnell Family Law Group can help you determine what the best course of action is for your situation and help you find peace through strength. Contact us today at (203) 349-9289.

Topic Details
Definition of No-Fault Divorce In Connecticut, a no-fault divorce is granted when there’s an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no hope of reconciliation.” No specific fault needs to be alleged or proven.
Filing for a No-Fault Divorce The plaintiff spouse initiates the divorce process by filing a complaint in the superior court, specifying the reasons for divorce and relevant details. The complaint covers issues such as child custody, alimony, and asset division.

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