What is “No Fault” in a Connecticut Divorce Case?

In Connecticut, you need a reason, or “grounds” to get divorced. The grounds for divorce fall into either the “fault” or “no fault” category. Although claims of “fault” in a divorce make for good television plots and news headlines, by far the most common type of divorce in Connecticut is the “no-fault” divorce, which means that neither party has to prove that the other caused the marriage to end.

When filing for “no-fault” divorce, you are claiming that your marriage has broken down irretrievably, with no hope of reconciliation. This claim of “irretrievable breakdown” is the grounds for your divorce.

If you feel strongly that your spouse did cause the breakdown of the marriage, you are not waiving your right to use that information by filing for “no-fault” divorce. Allegations of adultery are a common example of this. When you file for “no-fault” divorce in Connecticut, the cause of the breakdown of the marriage is still relevant, as it becomes a factor in the division of the marital assets and the determination of alimony. It is statutorily required that the Court consider the cause of breakdown when deciding assets and alimony, however the Judge will decide how much weight to give to that information.

What if you want to be divorced and your spouse does not? In Connecticut, as long as one party claims that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, the Court will grant the divorce, regardless of whether there is an agreement that the marriage is over.