Why do most people divorcing in Connecticut file no-fault cases?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2021 | Divorce |

Some people truly grow apart from their spouses over the course of multiple years. They may not be able to point to any one issue or moment that damaged their relationship, but they know that neither spouse is happy with the way things currently are.

However, in many divorces, there is a clear issue that leads to one spouse filing. Infidelity, wasteful spending and addictive habits are all issues that may eventually lead to divorce. Even when it is clear that the misconduct of one spouse is what instigated the other to file for divorce, the couple might go through no-fault divorce proceedings.

Why do so many Connecticut couples pursue no-fault divorces instead of fault-based divorces?

Fault-based divorces give an opportunity for rebuttal

Perhaps the simplest and most compelling reason that many people don’t consider a fault-based divorce is that the spouse accused of fault can potentially defend against the divorce. The spouse filing on fault-based grounds will have to prove that their situation meets the legal standards established under state law.

Someone filing for divorce in Connecticut could do so based on issues caused by their spouse. Fault-based grounds for divorce include cruelty/violence, adultery, willful desertion that lasts a year or more, alcoholism/drug addiction, insanity, absence for seven years, conviction for an infamous crime, fraudulent marital contracts and confinement for mental illness lasting five of the last six years.

If you don’t have compelling evidence, the courts may not grant you the divorce. Although you can still pursue a no-fault filing, you could spend a lot of time and effort unnecessarily pursuing a fault-based divorce first. Even when they are successful, a divorce that requires that a spouse present evidence of substantial spousal misconduct might take longer to resolve in could potentially cost more than a no-fault divorce. 

Why do some people still pursue fault-based divorces?

There are many reasons why people pursue no-fault divorces. Some people do so for a sense of personal vindication that they are not responsible for the end of their marriage.

Others who belong to conservative religious may file a fault-based divorce so that they may eventually remarry or can continue attending church services. Still others need to talk face to divorce to trigger a penalty clause in a marital agreement with their spouse.

Understanding why people file the kind of divorce they do can help you choose the right way forward.