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Legally ending a marriage in Connecticut

There are various ways of ending a marriage in Connecticut. One of the ways is a dissolution of marriage, a second way is a legal separation and a third way, which applies in very limited cases, is an annulment. In Connecticut, a divorce is legally termed a dissolution of the marriage. It is applied when one or both spouses in a legal marriage seek a court process to end the union Within a dissolution proceeding, court orders dealing with child custody, visitation and support, alimony, division of property and name changes are made.

A legal separation is another option that married couples have when they are considering ending their marriage. A legal separation entails many of the same types of changes and orders in a dissolution of marriage but does not result in a divorce. Though both people in the marriage begin living separate lives, they continue to be legally married. Often done in religious cases, where spouses no longer want to be together but do not want a divorce, a legal separation is also sometimes requested by spouses who are not sure they want to divorce. In cases where one spouse petitions for dissolution of marriage and the other a legal separation, a divorce is granted.

The third way to end a marriage is through an annulment, which declares that the marriage never existed. However, annulments are usually only granted in specific cases where the marriage was not considered legal in the first place. These include one spouse being underage or one person being married already.

When couples are seeking to end their marriages, it is important to know the options before making a final decision. In Connecticut, couples are also allowed to petition for both a dissolution of marriage and a legal separation in the same case, deciding later which is the best option for them.

Source:, "What’s the difference between a divorce, a dissolution of marriage, a legal separation, and an annulment?", November 02, 2014

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