In Connecticut, a divorce can be filed under one of two circumstances: the couple can seek a no-fault divorce, where neither party blames the other for their separation, or one party can pursue a divorce on fault grounds. Though the former is the most common type of divorce and can simply occur when a couple grows apart, the latter is sometimes necessary. Understanding this type of dissolution can help you make informed decisions if your marriage comes to a difficult close.
Valid Grounds for Fault
In order for divorce to occur on a fault basis, one spouse must provide concrete evidence that the other is responsible for the unfavorable conditions resulting in the dissolution. Though a wide variety of causes may lead to the breakup of a marriage, only a few are recognized by state law as grounds for a fault divorce.
A spouse can be found at fault for any of the following:
- Infidelity (adultery)
- Abuse or other cruelty
- Alcoholism affecting the family
- Spending five of the past six years in a mental hospital
- Intentional desertion for one or more years
- Imprisonment for certain crimes
- Fraud leading to the marriage
Other aspects of a divorce, such as terms of spousal support and child custody, will not be settled until a decision has been reached concerning the fault claim. As a result, these cases tend to be longer than other types of dissolution. The outcome of these claims can dramatically alter the terms each party will face upon ending their marriage.
How can a fault-based divorce affect me?
The effects of a fault divorce depend on the type of claim filed against a spouse and their circumstances after dissolution. If held responsible for the divorce, a spouse may be unable to claim alimony, lose access to certain financial privileges, or even run the risk of losing custody.
Though a case will ultimately be more difficult for the person found liable, both parties are likely to face additional tension and legal expenses when approaching a fault-based divorce. As a result, these claims should be handled carefully and with professional counsel. The Fairfield County lawyers at Bayer & Black, P.C. are ready to answer your questions if you or your spouse is pursuing a fault divorce.