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“Grounds for divorce” refers to the legal reason a couple is filing for divorce. Unlike like some other states, Connecticut recognizes both fault grounds and no-fault grounds for divorce. The concepts each category encompasses can be confusing, but the distinction can play a meaningful role in the way your divorce is resolved. If you are considering or facing a divorce, an experienced Stamford, Connecticut, family law attorney can provide you with the information and legal guidance you need.

Fault and No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

The fault grounds for a divorce in Connecticut include:

  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion of at least one year
  • Fraudulent contract (or deceit perpetrated in a way that affects the veracity of the marriage)
  • Seven years’ absence with no contact
  • Habitual overindulgence (or drug and/or alcohol abuse so severe that it negates the person’s ability to fulfill marital responsibilities)
  • Intolerable cruelty
  • A prison sentence of at least one year or
  • Hospitalization for mental illness

No-fault grounds, on the other hand, provide couples the ability to file for divorce without assigning fault to either party. The no-fault grounds for divorce are as follows:

  • The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or
  • Proof that the couple has lived apart because of incompatibility for more than 18 months – with no hope of reconciliation

Marital Misconduct May Still Be Considered in a No-Fault Divorce

Many people who are seeking a no-fault divorce are surprised to learn that the court will still consider marital misconduct when deciding issues such as the division of property or child custody. For example, if there is reason to believe that one party was physically abusive toward the other, the court may consider this as a relevant factor when deciding child custody. Similarly, if one spouse engaged in an extramarital affair, the judge may take the adultery into account when deciding how much, if any, spousal support to award.

Contact a Stamford Divorce Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case

Divorce is never easy, and it’s not something you should take on alone. If you’re contemplating a divorce in Stamford, Connecticut, contact the family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, L.L.C. We’re here to help you carefully consider the grounds for your divorce and guide you toward your best outcome. Divorce is complicated; protect your rights by calling our office today at 203-348-2465.

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