What are the residency requirements to file for divorce in Connecticut?
A divorce complaint (petition) can be filed in Connecticut at any time after either spouse establishes residency in Connecticut.1 However, a divorce can only be granted if one of the following are true:
- Either spouse has had residency in Connecticut for at least 12 months before:
- the divorce was filed; or
- the date of the divorce decree; (In other words, you can file for the divorce before 12 months of residency but the judge will not grant the final divorce until the 12 months of residency are completed);
- Either spouse was domiciled in Connecticut at the time of the marriage and returned to Connecticut with the intent to live there permanently before filing for divorce2 (Note: “Domicile” requires actual residence plus the intention of permanently remaining in the state);3 or
- The reason you are seeking a divorce (the grounds) happened after you or your spouse moved into Connecticut.2 (Note: Although the law doesn’t mention anything about 12 months of residency here, the majority of judges will still require completion of 12 months’ residency before granting the divorce).
A member of the armed forces will be considered a resident of Connecticut for the length of his/her service if s/he was a resident of Connecticut before entering into the military.4
1 C.G.S. § 46b-44(a); see also Jungnelius v. Jungnelius, 133 Conn. App. 250 (2012)
2 C.G.S. § 46b-44(c)
3 See Mills v. Mills, 119 Conn. 612 (Supr. Ct 1935)
4 C.G.S. § 46b-44(d)