What Impact Does Adultery Have on Property Division in Connecticut Divorces?

White square with a gold border and the words “What impact does adultery have on property division?” with the Freed Marcroft family law firm logo in the lower right corner.Many people want to understand what impact adultery can have on property division in Connecticut divorces.  Confusion on this issue is understandable — and the answer has changed significantly over the years.

Please read on to learn more.

What Impact Does Adultery Have on Alimony in Connecticut Divorces?

To understand the impact alimony can have in Connecticut divorces, it’s important to first understand that there are two types of grounds for divorce in Connecticut: “no fault” and “for fault.”

Adultery and “For Fault” Divorce

Adultery is one of the for fault grounds for divorce in Connecticut.  In order for the court to order a divorce based upon for fault grounds, the spouse who is the plaintiff must be able to prove, with specific evidence, that his or her spouse’s misconduct caused the relationship to fail.  This is unappealing to many, and likely involves the testimony of family and friends and sets up a protracted, high conflict litigation.  For fault divorces uncommon and, in fact, it’s fairly unusual that they still exist as an option in Connecticut.  Most states no longer even recognize them.

Adultery and “No Fault” Divorce

When most people make the decision to divorce, one of their most important goals is to know that their divorce will be ordered by the court. In a no fault divorce, neither spouse must prove that the other is “at fault” in order to be granted a divorce.  Rather, either spouse’s testimony that the marriage has irretrievably broken down with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation is generally sufficient for the court to order the divorce.  The vast, vast majority of Connecticut divorces are no fault divorces.

Is Any Consideration Given to Adultery in a “No Fault” Divorce in Connecticut?

This can be confusing, but “no fault” does not mean that a court will never consider whether one spouse is the reason why the marriage broke down. Even in no fault divorces, the concept of fault is built into our law and judges can consider whether one spouse had a more significant role in breaking down the marriage when it comes to alimony and property division.

Adultery and Property Division Factors

It’s important to note that although judges have the authority to adjust their orders based upon the cause of the breakdown (for example, adultery), there are many other factors that they take into account when making decisions about property distribution.

Read: How Does Infidelity Affect Alimony Awards in Connecticut?

The Comprehensive Connecticut Alimony Guide

Alimony is one of the most important issues in family law.  And, it’s one of the most confusing.  Connecticut doesn’t have set formulas or rules on (1) whether there will be alimony, and, if so, (2) how it’s calculated or (3) how long it will last.  The good news is that this means there is tremendous flexibility to craft an individualized approach.  In order to prepare to make solid and informed decisions, you need to understand how alimony works. Our Comprehensive Connecticut Alimony Guide tells you everything you need to know about alimony in Connecticut.

Read: Alimony: The Comprehensive Connecticut Guide

Next Steps

To start making a plan for your divorce, reach out.  Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals.  We analyze those goals, plus the facts of your case, and present you with recommendations and options to move forward.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.

Written by Meghan Freed