Connecticut Divorce Law on Living Separate Lives in the Same Home

By Heather Frances J.D.

Sometimes it is not feasible for one spouse to move out of the marital home in preparation for a divorce. The drive to save money by maintaining one household, as well as keeping both parents in frequent contact with the children, may encourage you and your spouse to remain living in the same home but establish separate lives. In Connecticut, you can still get a divorce if you live in the same house, but you cannot base the divorce on grounds of separation.

Sometimes it is not feasible for one spouse to move out of the marital home in preparation for a divorce. The drive to save money by maintaining one household, as well as keeping both parents in frequent contact with the children, may encourage you and your spouse to remain living in the same home but establish separate lives. In Connecticut, you can still get a divorce if you live in the same house, but you cannot base the divorce on grounds of separation.

No-Fault Grounds

Connecticut offers two no-fault reasons, or grounds, for divorce: separation for at least 18 months or irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Before you can use separation as your grounds, you must “live apart” from your spouse. However, there is nothing prohibiting you from living separately under the same roof if you choose to use the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Since irretrievable breakdown is the easiest grounds to use, it is also the most popular of the grounds in Connecticut.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Fault Grounds

Connecticut also recognizes fault grounds for divorce or legal separation, and one of these fault grounds is based on a seven-year separation or absence. However, this type of separation means the filing spouse has not heard from the other spouse during the entire seven years, which will not work if you live in the same house.

Converting Legal Separation into Divorce

Because you can also get a legal separation in Connecticut on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, it's possible that you can be legally separated and living in the same house. If you want to convert your legal separation into a divorce, this is typically done under a summary procedure that simply requires one spouse to ask the court to enter a decree dissolving the marriage. However, if you and your spouse have resumed marital relations since the legal separation, a longer procedure is required.

After Divorce

Connecticut law does not prevent you from continuing to live in the same house after your divorce, but such an arrangement may present several problems. For example, your children may be confused by the arrangement and continuing to live together may make it difficult for you to move on. Both spouses can benefit from a clear plan addressing issues like who pays for maintenance and household supplies. In Connecticut, if the court awards you alimony, you risk having the alimony award reduced if you cohabit after your divorce and that cohabitation changes the circumstances upon which the court based your alimony award. For example, if the court awarded you alimony because you were not expected to earn enough to support yourself, your ex-spouse can ask the court to reduce your alimony because you do not have to support yourself on your own while both of you are living together.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How Long After a Separation Can You Obtain a Divorce?

References

Related articles

New Jersey Divorce: Causes of Action and Irreconcilable Differences

Until 2007, New Jersey lagged behind other states in recognizing no-fault grounds for divorce. The state is also somewhat unique in that its grounds are called "causes of action" -- at least in the legalese of its divorce complaints and final judgments. New Jersey also recognizes fault causes of action. Using one usually won't affect property distribution, but it can sometimes affect issues of custody.

What Are the Laws When Separating From a Spouse in Connecticut?

Connecticut recognizes that sometimes spouses want to go their separate ways, but not actually divorce. It’s one of a few states that specifically provide for a decree of legal separation in their legislatures. Section 46b-67(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes says that a decree of separation serves the same legal function as a divorce decree -- but spouses aren’t free to marry again.

Separation & Divorce in Virginia State

Living separate and apart for a period is a prerequisite for most grounds for divorce in Virginia. The state broadly and simply defines separation as a continuous break from being husband and wife. Understanding how voluntary separation affects your divorce, as well as the situations in which the court can order a separation can help you better prepare for your Virginia divorce.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Can You Get Divorced in Maryland While Living Together?

Although Maryland technically recognizes no-fault divorce, Maryland's laws are not as progressive as some other ...

Statute of Abandonment in Tennessee

Tennessee, like other states, grants a divorce without the need to allege fault on the part of either spouse. Tennessee ...

The Difficulty of Claiming Abandonment as Divorce Grounds in Alabama

In any state that recognizes abandonment as a divorce ground, the biggest impediment to using it is that your spouse ...

Arkansas Laws for Separation

Marital separation can be particularly complicated in Arkansas because the state recognizes two types of marriages and ...

Browse by category