Requirements for Getting a Legal Separation in Connecticut

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Connecticut is the state which recognizes the provision of legal separation and documentation for the same. According to the statute, legal separation is defined as “the court decree which will have the effect of the decree of dissolution of marriage except that neither party shall be free to marry.”

The residency requirement for getting a legal separation in Connecticut is one year and the process is similar to divorce with the only difference that the couple becomes legally separated but stays technically married unlike after a divorce decree is issued. The residency requirement for filing for legal separation is one year, that is, at least one of the spouses should be the resident of the state for one year before filing for legal separation.

Grounds for Legal Separation in Connecticut:

As the statute of Connecticut recognizes the provision for legal separation, the grounds for obtaining the same are also specified by the statute. These grounds are as follows:

  • Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage – As Connecticut is a no-fault divorce state, this ground can be used by the couple to get a legal separation. They do not have to blame each other or say a particular person is at-fault for their separation. Legal separation can be easily granted on this ground if both the partners state that their marriage is damaged beyond repair and there is no chance of reconciliation. The couple has to sign the separation agreement sorting the marital issues and the legal separation is granted to them by the statute of Connecticut.
  • Living Separate and Apart due to Incompatibility – If the couple has been living separate and apart for a period of 18 months due to the compatibility issues they are facing and there are no hopes of reconciliation, the couple can get a legal separation on the grounds of mutual separation due to incompatibility. The period of 18 months is sufficient to decide whether the couple wants to reconcile or go on with the legal separation. The couple just has to sign the separation agreement so as to take care of the marital issues and childcare issues if any and they can lead separate lives happily.
  • Adultery – Committing adultery comprises of having extra-marital affairs, one night stands, flings, romantic liaisons and sexual overtures with multiple partners outside the marriage. Adultery makes the normal functioning of marriage impossible and thus, the couple can opt for legal separation and lead separate lives while being technically married. This arrangement can be ideal if the minor children are involved and the parents want to provide them with an environment suitable for children to reside where they can be with both the parents for a major chunk of time.
  • Fraudulent Contract – A fraudulent contract is the concealment of some important information which renders the smooth functioning of a marriage impossible. However, it is not about social status or income. This should be a thing which seriously affects the marital relationship and make it impossible for the couple to live together harmoniously. It could be a condition which led either of the partners to marry but which was false or incorrect in the first place. For instance, if a woman asked a man to marry her because she was pregnant with his child; but in reality she was not pregnant such a marriage is considered as a fraudulent contract and the legal separation is granted on this ground.
  • Willful Desertion or Neglect of Marital Duties – If one of the partners deserts the family home and the other spouse after marriage for the period of one year with no contact of any kind, such an act is considered as willful desertion and the couple can get legal separation on this ground. If the absence continues for seven years, the legal separation can be granted immediately. Besides, if either of the spouses does not contribute to the household day-to-day expenses and the other spouse has to take all the responsibilities, it can also be a ground for legal separation.
  • Habitual Intemperance – If either of the spouse has a habit of taking drugs, alcohol or certain medications which provide a “kick” or a “high”, the other spouse can file for legal separation so as to protect the individual assets and property of the couple or for the sake of children. Besides, if the habit is too old, it is difficult to get rid of it without getting help from the self help groups or professional therapists and counselors.
  • Intolerable Cruelty – Physical abuse such as hitting or bashing and mental torture such as refusing to fulfill the marital duties can amount to intolerable cruelty. If the deceived spouse alleges the physical or mental abuse, the court can issue the restraining order against the guilty spouse and can grant the legal separation to the petitioner immediately.
  • Imprisonment or Incarceration – Conviction of felony or fraud and imprisonment owing to the same for a period of one or more years can be a ground for legal separation in Connecticut. Also, incarceration in an institution such as an asylum, rehabilitation center due to mental illness or any addiction for at least 5 years can also be the cause for legal separation.

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