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Legal Statutes: Connecticut

UPDATED January 10, 2017

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Part I. General Provisions

back to top§ 46b-40. Grounds for dissolution of marriage; legal separation; annulment

(a) A marriage is dissolved only by (1) the death of one of the parties or (2) a decree of annulment or dissolution of the marriage by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) An annulment shall be granted if the marriage is void or voidable under the laws of this state or of the state in which the marriage was performed.

(c) A decree of dissolution of a marriage or a decree of legal separation shall be granted upon a finding that one of the following causes has occurred: (1) The marriage has broken down irretrievably; (2) 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; (3) adultery; (4) fraudulent contract; (5) wilful desertion for one year with total neglect of duty; (6) seven years' absence, during all of which period the absent party has not been heard from; (7) habitual intemperance; (8) intolerable cruelty; (9) 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; (10) 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.

(d) In an action for dissolution of a marriage or a legal separation on the ground of habitual intemperance, it shall be sufficient if the cause of action is proved to have existed until the time of the separation of the parties.

(e) In an action for dissolution of a marriage or a legal separation on the ground of wilful desertion for one year, with total neglect of duty, the furnishing of financial support shall not disprove total neglect of duty, in the absence of other evidence.

(f) For purposes of this section, “adultery” means voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than such person's spouse.

1958 Rev., § 46-32; 1973, P.A. 73-373, § 1; 1974, P.A. 74-169, § 1, eff. May 13, 1974; 1978, P.A. 78-230, § 18, eff. Oct. 1, 1978; 1991, P.A. 91-19, § 1; 1995, P.A. 95-257, § 48, eff. July 1, 1995.