Divorce Grounds

| | Divorce Grounds

Connecticut, like many states in America, has now accepted no-fault divorces. This means that you can file for divorce in Connecticut based on the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. Irretrievable breakdown means that no one is at-fault for your divorce – you and your spouse simply have irreconcilable differences and do not want to remain married. However, you can still file for a fault-based divorce in Connecticut on the following grounds:

  • The marriage has broken down irretrievably;
  • The parties have lived apart by reason of incompatibility for a continuous period of at least the eighteen months immediately prior to the service of the complaint and that there is no reasonable prospect that they will be reconciled;
  • Adultery;
  • Fraudulent contract;
  • Willful desertion for one year with total neglect of duty;
  • Seven years’ absence, during all of which period the absent party has not been heard from;
  • Habitual intemperance;
  • Intolerable cruelty;
  • Sentence to imprisonment for life or the commission of any infamous crime involving a violation of conjugal duty and punishable by imprisonment for a period in excess of one year;
  • Legal confinement in a hospital or hospitals or other similar institution or institutions, because of mental illness, for at least an accumulated period totaling five years within the period of six years next preceding the date of the complaint. CONN. GEN. STAT. § 46b-40(c) (2011).

While you don’t need grounds for divorce in Connecticut, filing for a fault-based divorce has its advantages. You could have a more favorable divorce and get compensation for your spouse’s adultery, cruelty, or other ill treatment through alimony or some other form. In addition, if you have children together, you might be awarded custody of your children if you can prove that your spouse is unstable. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you want to file for an at-fault divorce, you will have to prove the grounds for divorce with evidence and testimony in court.

If you are considering filing for divorce, you should get legal advice so as to understand the best way to proceed. By contacting a Connecticut divorce lawyer, you will be able to consider all of your options and decide what the best way to file for divorce is. If you want to file for an at-fault divorce, a divorce lawyer can also help you prove your claims in court. Learn more about grounds for divorce here. If you need more help, contact my office.

Fraudulent Contract

Fraudulent contract is another reason why a court can find fault and order a Connecticut divorce. “There must be a deception in respect to some fact whose existence or nonexistence may affect in some certain way the very essence of the marriage relation, resulting in a lawful marriage which practically operates as a fraud upon the deceived spouse; and the existence or nonexistence of the fact thus concealed or misrepresented must operate, as between parties to the marriage, to prevent some essential purpose of marriage and work a practical destruction of that relation.” Gould v. Gould, 78 Conn. 242, 261 (1905).

“In Connecticut, by statute . . . fraudulent contract is a ground for divorce. This ground probably embraces some situations which, at least in jurisdictions not having such a ground of divorce, could also support an action for annulment.” Perlstein v. Perlstein, 152 Conn. 152, 161, 204 A.2d 909 (1964). “All the grounds of divorce specified, except fraudulent contract, are of such a nature that they can come into existence only after the marriage. While fraudulent conduct of a certain kind will render a marriage voidable, such fraud differs from that which vitiates ordinary contracts in that the party defrauded may not at his own election avoid the marriage, but it is held to be voidable only by a decree of the court.” Davis v. Davis, 119 Conn. 194, 196, 175 A. 574 (1934).

Insanity

If your spouse has developed a mental illness or has become mentally insane, you might want to end the marriage. If this happens, you should file for fault-based divorce on the grounds of mental illness or insanity. When your spouse has become mentally unstable, you might have grounds for a divorce. If your spouse is mentally incompetent, insane, or mentally ill, the grounds for your divorce will depend on the state that you live in. Some states recognize mental illness as a reason for divorce, while others do not.

Insanity does not result of a spouse’s wrongdoing. Instead, it is a condition that cannot be helped. Unlike abuse or adultery, your spouse did not choose to become insane. The law also states that when you marry someone, you promise to care for and support them, even when they are ill. For these reasons, you should consult with a divorce lawyer about the laws concerning insanity as grounds for divorce in your state.

Proof in Court

If you want to file for divorce on the grounds of insanity, you will have to prove that your spouse is incurably insane or mentally ill, and that they have been that way for at least five years. Proving mental illness or incurable insanity can be difficult, so many people choose not to use insanity as grounds for divorce. However, these cases have gotten proven and won. You will have to gather evidence proving your spouse’s mental condition and provide testimony by experts. Showing a judge medical records, proof of institutional care, or psychiatric records can help your case, so try to gather as much evidence as you can.

Going through a divorce is always difficult, but proving insanity as grounds for the divorce can be even harder. This is why you will need an experienced divorce lawyer working on your case. Divorce lawyer will know better than you do how to present a strong case to a judge and ultimately win your case.

Life Imprisonment

Another reason for divorce is the life imprisonment of one spouse, or imprisonment with no conjugal visits. If your spouse has a long enough prison sentence, you might have grounds for an at-fault divorce. If your spouse has received a prison sentence for a particular period of time, usually a life sentence, you could have grounds for a divorce. This is because it is cruel to deprive one spouse of the benefits of their spouse for life.

For example, one spouse married to someone in jail for life will get deprived of the emotional and physical connection that a husband and wife should have. This deprivation will continue for the rest of the innocent spouse’s life. Some crimes are also so severe that prisoners lose rights in prison as a result of them. If your spouse is in prison and doesn’t have the right to conjugal visits, you can also sue them for divorce. In order to get a divorce based on imprisonment, all you have to do is prove that your spouse is in jail and is serving a sentence that lasts for a particular amount of time (this varies by state). The actual time that your spouse spends in jail is irrelevant.

Divorce Granting

The divorce gets decided based on the term that they should serve. Proving that your husband or wife is in jail is much easier than proving a fault based divorce as a result of adultery, cruelty, or some other grounds that might not have hard evidence to back them up. You should present a judge with your spouse’s case and show the prison sentence determined as punishment. Because there are records of these documents, it will be easy to prove. Divorce can be difficult, but as long as you can prove that your spouse is serving a life sentence, you should have a fairly easy divorce process if you want it.

Because your spouse cannot change the situation by getting released from jail, they will not build a strong case for why you should remain married. Still, you will have to go through the steps that all married couples go through when they enter the divorce process. This means that you will have to serve your spouse with divorce papers and allow them to get represented in court.

Irretrievable Breakdown

If there is no specific reason that you can point to as to why the marriage isn’t working anymore, you might be able to get a divorce on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown. This does not mean that someone is at fault for the divorce, it simply means that the marriage is not working anymore. Many states will accept no-fault divorces based on the fact that the marriage has broken down. Some states refer to this as irreconcilable differences.

This means that the marriage has broken down and you can’t repair it. There is no way for you or your spouse to fix the marriage and furthermore, you no longer want to make the marriage work. If you file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, you don’t have to prove that your spouse did something specific that led to the failure of the marriage. Any wrongdoing by either party does not matter in this case.

Filing for This Type of Divorce

The process of filing for a divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is fairly similar for each state. Most states ask that both spouses agree on the divorce. You and your spouse will have to sign an affidavit saying that the marriage has broken down. This statement must happen under oath. In addition, you should give the court an agreement on the division of your assets and child custody if you have children together. Once you sign this affidavit and file paperwork, a waiting period will occur. Generally, the waiting period could last from 90 days to six months.

Once the waiting period ends, a hearing will get scheduled with a judge. If you and your spouse agree to the divorce, this hearing should be brief. The court will simply look at factors that could have led to the breakdown of your marriage, such as distrust, resentment, separation, conflict of personality, conflict of interests, etc. Usually, divorce gets granted if you can handle all of these details on your own. However, if you can’t come to an agreement as to how you want to divide your assets, the court might have to intervene, and the process can take longer.

Fighting Your Spouse

Also keep in mind that the process becomes much more difficult if only one spouse files for divorce. If the other spouse denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, it might be more difficult to get the divorce. If you and your spouse are having difficulty in your marriage, but no one is at fault for the issues at hand, you might consider filing for divorce under irretrievable breakdown. So, if you and your spouse agree that the marriage is over, it will be fairly easy to file for and get this divorce. However, consulting a divorce attorney, especially if one spouse does not agree to the divorce, is in your best interest.

Impotence

Another ground for divorce is impotence. There are some common misconceptions about what constitutes impotency and how it can lead to a divorce. If you think that your spouse is impotent and you want to sue them for divorce, there are some things that you should know beforehand. Some people think that impotence occurs when one spouse refuses to have sexual intercourse with the other spouse. Another common belief is that impotence is a spouse’s inability to produce a child.

However, both of these scenarios do not constitute impotency. Rather, impotency is defined as a physical or psychological condition that prevents one spouse from physically having intercourse with the other. Impotency is a medical condition that cannot be controlled. In addition, many people believe that only a man can be impotent. However, there are women who have physical or psychological conditions that make having sexual intercourse impossible. As a result, either a husband or a wife could file for divorce on the grounds of impotency.

In general, it doesn’t matter if your spouse was impotent before you got married or if they became impotent some time after the marriage. Both scenarios could result in valid grounds for divorce in states that accept at-fault divorces. However, if you want to get an annulment, impotency is only grounds for an annulment if your spouse was impotent at the time of the marriage.

Annulment

If the impotence was discovered after the marriage, your marriage could be declared null and void through an annulment. If you want to get either an annulment or a divorce based on the impotency of your spouse, it is your job to prove impotence before a judge. This means that the impotence claim has to be supported by evidence or testimony provided by a doctor. If you cannot prove the impotency with evidence, the case might be dismissed.

In addition, some states only allow you to divorce based on impotency if your spouse’s impotency is incurable and permanent. This can be more difficult to prove than simply proving that impotency is currently an issue. If you believe that your spouse is impotent and you want to file for divorce, you will need help proving impotence in court. For this reason, it is in your best interest to hire a divorce lawyer that has experience with at-fault divorce, or more specifically, impotence as grounds for divorce.

Habitual Intemperance/Addiction

One reason for divorce is habitual intemperance. If you think that your spouse has committed habitual intemperance, you might have grounds for an at-fault divorce. Habitual intemperance is defined as alcohol or drug addiction that prevents a person from carrying out their business for a large portion of the time. In terms of a marriage, habitual intemperance generally weighs heavily on the mental health of the innocent spouse, as they are witness to the drug or alcohol abuse of his or her spouse.

Habitual intemperance can lead to a spouse’s inability to participate in the work force, hold down a steady job, or fulfill his or her spousal duties. If this is the case, the drug or alcohol problem can get used as grounds for divorce. If you believe that your spouse has a drug or alcohol problem that prevents them from maintaining a healthy marriage, you might have grounds for divorce. However, keep in mind that you will have to prove habitual intemperance in court before a judge can give you a divorce.

Proving Habitual Intemperance

In order to prove habitual intemperance, you will need to produce evidence as

well as testimony to support your statements. Evidence could include money spent on drugs or alcohol, reckless behavior such as DUIs or other drug-related charges, and your spouse’s inability to work due to his or her condition. Testimony from a doctor or other medical expert can help to prove that your spouse has an addiction that is interfering with his or her life. Statements from friends and family who have witnessed your spouse’s drug problem and how it affects your marriage would also be helpful.

In addition, you should prove that your spouse has no intention of getting help for his or her problem, or that treatment methods tried in the past have not worked. This must constitute a problem that has lasted at least one year with no foreseeable solution to count as grounds for divorce. However, with the help of a Connecticut divorce lawyer, you can build a strong case for your spouse’s habitual intemperance.

Bigamy

Another reason for divorce is bigamy, also referred to as plural marriage or polygamy. Bigamy happens when a person gets married but they already have a legal, existing marriage. Bigamy is against the law in the United States, so if you find out about your spouse having another marriage, you could have grounds for divorce. If you are the spouse that is committing bigamy, you cannot use it as grounds for a divorce from one of your spouses. Only the spouse that did not enter into multiple marriages can use bigamy as grounds for divorce. For bigamy to occur, there has to be a valid marriage and for one of the spouses in this marriage to enter into another valid marriage. The bigamist also has to know that his or her spouse is alive when they enter into the second marriage.

What To Do

If you find out that your spouse was married before, but they got a divorce or annulment before marrying you, this is not bigamy. There are no grounds for bigamy if your spouse’s previous marriage is legally over. Also, because people are presumed dead if they are absent for a certain period of time, your spouse does not commit bigamy if they marry you under the assumption that his or her other spouse is dead. If you think that your spouse has committed bigamy, and you want to use this as grounds for a divorce, you should first consult with a divorce lawyer. The bigamy laws can seem complicated and they vary from state to state. For this reason, you might not have a bigamy case, even if it appears that you do.

In some states, the only person that can file for divorce with bigamy as a reason is the innocent spouse from your spouse’s first marriage. This happens because you can’t legally marry more than one person. If you have questions concerning bigamy laws in your area, you can contact me.

Collusion

If you want to file for divorce, the process is much easier if you have grounds for divorce. Collusion constitutes an agreement made between spouses that one of them will commit or appear to commit an act that would qualify as grounds for divorce. Once one spouse commits the act agreed upon (or appears to), the other spouse can file for fault-based divorce. Getting a fault-based divorce is much quicker than getting a no-fault divorce, which is why some couples make this agreement.

Generally, collusion happens when one spouse invents a fake reason for divorce (such as adultery) and the other spouse goes along with the accusation so that they can divorce quicker. The state only recognizes certain acts as grounds for divorce, so if there are no legal grounds for divorce, the divorce will be much more difficult and take longer. Collusion only occurs if both spouses work together based on the agreement that they made. If one spouse changes his or her mind, they can use the collusion as a reason for the divorce to stop.

Collusion generally isn’t a good defense because it can require a lot of time and money. You might have to find other witnesses to bear false testimony in order to support the agreement that you made. You might end up wasting this time and money because a court will grant most divorces anyway. Even if it does not happen as quickly as you originally hoped, few divorces get denied in the state of Connecticut due to public policy against forcing spouses to remain together if they wish to separate.

Cruelty

One reason for divorce is cruelty. If you feel that your spouse subjected you to cruelty, you might have grounds for a fault-based divorce. The definition of cruelty can vary greatly from state to state. In many states, cruelty gets defined by conduct or actions taken by your spouse that harm you physically or mentally. If you want to use cruelty as grounds for divorce, you have to prove that the cruelty is sustained and severe. You must prove that it is too severe for you to continue in the marriage. Just because your spouse bickers with you, picks fights, or has a temper does not mean that you can use cruelty as a reason for divorce.

Cruelty goes beyond standard marital fighting. Cruelty includes:

  • Repeated screaming
  • Repeated displays of rage
  • Physical attacks
  • Knowingly afflicting a spouse with a sexually transmitted disease, while the spouse is not aware of the disease
  • Giving no explanation for staying away from home too much.
  • Repeated criticism
  • Wrongful accusations (i.e. adultery)
  • Going public with a relationship carried on with another person
  • Neglect
  • Indignities

Cruelty and Divorce

Many people choose to use cruelty as grounds for their divorce because it has several advantages. First of all, as previously mentioned, cruelty can impact a fault-based divorce. Fault-based divorces generally take less time to complete than no-fault divorces. No one wants to drag out their divorce, as this only makes it more difficult to heal. For this reason, a fault-based divorce might be the best option. In addition, cruelty can work as a deciding factor on issues such as alimony, child custody, and property division. If you want to keep your assets and custody of your children, you need to prove that you are the more responsible parent. Exposing your spouse’s wrongdoings can help you to get what you want out of your divorce.

Adultery

When one person files for divorce, the court likes to verify that this person has a legal reason for filing for divorce. This type of divorce gets referred to as fault-based divorce, in which one spouse takes responsibility for the breakdown of the marriage. When there are grounds for divorce, the process is much simpler and quicker than if there are no grounds for divorce, for instance in a no-fault divorce.

One reason for divorce is adultery. If you think that your spouse has committed adultery, you might have grounds for an at-fault divorce. In order for your spouse to commit adultery, her or she has to have voluntary sexual intercourse with someone that is not you. However, some state laws vary in terms of the definition of adultery. Sometimes, sexual acts that do not culminate in sexual intercourse can still constitute adultery. In order to learn about the specific adultery definition in your area, consider discussing your case with a divorce lawyer.

Adultery and Divorce

Many people choose to use adultery as grounds for their divorce because it has several advantages. First of all, as previously mentioned, you can use adultery to support a fault-based divorce. Fault-based divorces generally take less time to complete than no-fault divorces. No one wants to drag out their divorce, as this only makes it more difficult to heal. For this reason, a fault-based divorce might be the best option. In addition, adultery can work as a deciding factor on issues such as alimony, child custody, and property division.

If you want to keep your assets and custody of your children, you need to prove that you are the more responsible parent. Exposing your spouse’s wrongdoings can help you to get what you want out of your divorce. It is important to keep in mind that you can’t accuse your spouse of adultery without proof.

Proving Adultery

A mere accusation will not hold up in court. You need to prove that your spouse cheated on you with evidence. Eyewitness accounts, photos, videos, or other direct proof are best in these cases. However, you can also build a case on circumstantial evidence or indirect proof. Indirect proof can include hotel receipts, travel records, love letters, etc. You have to prove that your spouse had the opportunity to commit adultery (being alone with some other person) and that they have motive or a desire to commit adultery. Sometimes indirect proof is enough to convince a judge that adultery did indeed take place.

For more information on grounds for divorce, contact my office. We can set up a consultation for you. We can answer your questions and help you through this. My office looks forward to working with you! We can help you through this difficult situation.

2017-03-23T20:52:50+00:00