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What Impact Does Adultery Have on Alimony in Connecticut Divorces?

What impact does adultery have on alimony on Connecticut divorces?Many people want to understand what impact adultery can have on alimony in Connecticut divorces.  Confusion on this issue is understandable — and the answer has changed significantly over the years.  Please read on to learn more.

What Impact Does Adultery Have on Alimony in Connecticut Divorces?

To understand the impact alimony can have in Connecticut divorces, it’s important to first understand that there are two types of grounds for divorce in Connecticut: “no fault” and “for fault.”

Adultery and “For Fault” Divorce

Adultery is one of the for fault grounds for divorce in Connecticut.  In order for the court to order a divorce based upon for fault grounds, the spouse who is the plaintiff must be able to prove, with specific evidence, that his or her spouse’s misconduct caused the relationship to fail.  This is unappealing to many, and likely involves the testimony of family and friends and sets up a protracted, high conflict litigation.  For fault divorces uncommon and, in fact, it’s fairly unusual that they still exist as an option in Connecticut.  Most states no longer even recognize them.

Adultery and “No Fault” Divorce

When most people make the decision to divorce, one of their most important goals is to know that their divorce will be ordered by the court. In a no fault divorce, neither spouse must prove that the other is “at fault” in order to be granted a divorce.  Rather, either spouse’s testimony that the marriage has irretrievably broken down with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation is generally sufficient for the court to order the divorce.  The vast, vast majority of Connecticut divorces are no fault divorces.

Is Any Consideration Given to Adultery in a “No Fault” Divorce in Connecticut?

This can be confusing, but “no fault” does not mean that a court will never consider whether one spouse is the reason why the marriage broke down. Even in no fault divorces, the concept of fault is built into our law and judges can consider whether one spouse had a more significant role in breaking down the marriage when it comes to alimony and property division.

It’s important to note that although judges have the authority to adjust their orders based upon the cause of the breakdown (for example, adultery), there are many other factors that they take into account when making decisions about property distribution and alimony.

Next Steps

Now that you have learned more about the impact alimony can have on alimony in Connecticut, you may want to learn more about “How Alimony Works in Connecticut Divorces”  or the available alternative ways to divorce in Connecticut.

Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals.  Then, we take those goals along with the facts of your case and analyze them so that we can present you with recommendations and options on how to move forward.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.

Written by Meghan Freed