CHAPTER 815j*
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, LEGAL SEPARATION
AND ANNULMENT

      *Statement of the Law Revision Commission: Public Act 78-230 and the recodification of the statutes in this chapter are intended to constitute merely a technical revision and are not intended to effect any substantive change in the law.

      See chapter 815o re Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.

      Annotations formerly to chapters 810 and 811:

      Person not a party to divorce proceedings may not collaterally attack divorce decree unless he had legally protected interest adversely affected by decree. 23 CS 275. In absence of divorce, husband has primary obligation of paying for support, medical care and burial of wife, and person advancing money for those purposes can recover from husband. Such person has legally protected interest adversely affected by purported divorce decree and may attack its validity. Id., 306.

      Annotations to chapter 811:

      Cited. 168 C. 579.

      The superior court, having obtained jurisdiction over the custody of minor children in a dissolution of marriage action, retains jurisdiction over their custody even though one parent subsequently dies. 31 CS 188. State's public policy re permissible grounds for divorce in recognizing foreign decrees evaluated as of date of Connecticut hearing, hence irretrievable breakdown allowable. Id., 344. Cited. 32 CS 92. Cited. 33 CS 44, 46.

      Annotations to present chapter:

      Cited. 185 C. 156. Cited. 188 C. 385. Cited. 241 C. 767. Secs. 46b-40-46b-87a. Cited. Id.

      Cited. 5 CA 95. Cited. 20 CA 500. Secs. 46b-40-46b-87 cited. 22 CA 337. Cited. 26 CA 737.


Table of Contents

Sec. 46b-40. (Formerly Sec. 46-32). Grounds for dissolution of marriage; legal separation; annulment.
Sec. 46b-41. (Formerly Sec. 46-36a). Complaint includes cross-complaints or cross actions.
Sec. 46b-42. (Formerly Sec. 46-33). Jurisdiction.
Sec. 46b-43. (Formerly Sec. 46-34). Capacity of minor to prosecute or defend.
Sec. 46b-44. (Formerly Sec. 46-35). Residency requirement.
Sec. 46b-45. (Formerly Sec. 46-36). Service and filing of complaint.
Sec. 46b-45a. Allegation of pregnancy in pleadings. Disagreement as to paternity. Hearing.
Sec. 46b-46. (Formerly Sec. 46-39). Notice to nonresident party. Jurisdiction over nonresident for alimony and support.
Sec. 46b-47. (Formerly Sec. 46-40). Complaint for dissolution of marriage on ground of confinement for mental illness; procedure.
Sec. 46b-48. (Formerly Sec. 46-37). Dissolution of marriage or annulment upon conviction of crime against chastity; procedure.
Sec. 46b-49. (Formerly Sec. 46-45). Private hearing.
Sec. 46b-50. (Formerly Sec. 46-46). Number of witnesses in uncontested action.
Sec. 46b-51. (Formerly Sec. 46-48). Stipulation of parties and finding of irretrievable breakdown.
Sec. 46b-52. Recrimination and condonation abolished.
Sec. 46b-53. (Formerly Sec. 46-41). Conciliation procedures; privileged communications.
Sec. 46b-53a. Mediation program for persons filing for dissolution of marriage. Privileged communications.
Sec. 46b-54. (Formerly Sec. 46-43). Counsel for minor children. Duties.
Sec. 46b-55. (Formerly Sec. 46-63). Attorney General as party. Paternity establishment.
Sec. 46b-56. (Formerly Sec. 46-42). Orders re custody, care, education, visitation and support of children. Best interests of the child. Access to records of minor child by noncustodial parent. Orders re therapy, counseling and drug or alcohol screening.
Sec. 46b-56a. Joint custody. Definition. Presumption. Conciliation. Parental responsibility plan. Modification of orders.
Sec. 46b-56b. Presumption re best interest of child to be in custody of parent.
Sec. 46b-56c. Educational support orders.
Sec. 46b-56d. Relocation of parent with minor child. Burden of proof. Factors considered by court.
Sec. 46b-57. (Formerly Sec. 46-47). Third party intervention re custody of minor children. Preference of child.
Sec. 46b-58. (Formerly Sec. 46-58). Custody, maintenance and education of adopted children.
Sec. 46b-59. Court may grant right of visitation to any person.
Sec. 46b-59a. Mediation of disputes re enforcement of visitation rights.
Sec. 46b-59b. Court may not grant visitation to parent convicted of murder. Exception.
Sec. 46b-60. (Formerly Sec. 46-55). Orders re children and alimony in annulment cases.
Sec. 46b-61. (Formerly Sec. 46-62). Orders re children where parents live separately. Commencement of proceedings.
Sec. 46b-62. (Formerly Sec. 46-59). Orders for payment of attorney's fees in certain actions.
Sec. 46b-63. (Formerly Sec. 46-60). Restoration of birth name or former name of spouse.
Sec. 46b-64. (Formerly Sec. 46-64c). Orders of court prior to return day of complaint.
Sec. 46b-65. (Formerly Sec. 46-61). Filing of declaration of resumption of marital relations; dissolution of marriage after legal separation decree when no declaration filed.
Sec. 46b-66. (Formerly Sec. 46-49). Review of agreements; incorporation into decree. Arbitration.
Sec. 46b-66a. Order of court re conveyance of title to real property. Effect of decree.
Sec. 46b-67. (Formerly Sec. 46-44). Waiting period. Effect of decree.
Sec. 46b-68. (Formerly Sec. 46-64). Reports to Department of Public Health re dissolutions of marriage and annulments.
Sec. 46b-69. (Formerly Sec. 46-64b). Statutes applicable to matrimonial actions.
Sec. 46b-69a. Wage executions and earning assignments.
Sec. 46b-69b. Parenting education program.
Sec. 46b-69c. Advisory committee. Recommendations to Judicial Department.
Sec. 46b-70. Foreign matrimonial judgment defined.
Sec. 46b-71. Filing of foreign matrimonial judgment; enforcement in this state.
Sec. 46b-72. Notification of filing.
Sec. 46b-73. Stay of enforcement; modifications; hearing.
Sec. 46b-74. Right to action on judgment unimpaired.
Sec. 46b-75. Uniformity of interpretation.
Secs. 46b-76 to 46b-79.
Sec. 46b-80. (Formerly Sec. 46-38). Prejudgment remedies available; lis pendens; notice; effect.
Sec. 46b-81. (Formerly Sec. 46-51). Assignment of property and transfer of title.
Sec. 46b-82. (Formerly Sec. 46-52). Alimony.
Sec. 46b-83. (Formerly Sec. 46-50). Alimony, support and use of family home or other residential dwelling unit awarded pendente lite. Voluntary leaving of family home by one parent.
Sec. 46b-84. (Formerly Sec. 46-57). Parents' obligation for maintenance of minor child. Order for health insurance coverage.
Sec. 46b-85. (Formerly Sec. 46-53). Order for support of mentally ill spouse.
Sec. 46b-86. (Formerly Sec. 46-54). Modification of alimony or support orders and judgments.
Sec. 46b-87. (Formerly Sec. 46-56). Contempt of orders.
Sec. 46b-87a. Forms and instructions for application for contempt order based on violation of visitation order.
Sec. 46b-88. National Medical Support Notice. Duties of issuing agency, employer and administrator of group health plan.
Sec. 46b-89.

PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

      Sec. 46b-40. (Formerly Sec. 46-32). Grounds for dissolution of marriage; legal separation; annulment. (a) A marriage is dissolved only by (1) the death of one of the parties or (2) a decree of annulment or dissolution of the marriage by a court of competent jurisdiction.

      (b) An annulment shall be granted if the marriage is void or voidable under the laws of this state or of the state in which the marriage was performed.

      (c) A decree of dissolution of a marriage or a decree of legal separation shall be granted upon a finding that one of the following causes has occurred: (1) The marriage has broken down irretrievably; (2) the parties have lived apart by reason of incompatibility for a continuous period of at least the eighteen months immediately prior to the service of the complaint and that there is no reasonable prospect that they will be reconciled; (3) adultery; (4) fraudulent contract; (5) wilful desertion for one year with total neglect of duty; (6) seven years' absence, during all of which period the absent party has not been heard from; (7) habitual intemperance; (8) intolerable cruelty; (9) sentence to imprisonment for life or the commission of any infamous crime involving a violation of conjugal duty and punishable by imprisonment for a period in excess of one year; (10) legal confinement in a hospital or hospitals or other similar institution or institutions, because of mental illness, for at least an accumulated period totaling five years within the period of six years next preceding the date of the complaint.

      (d) In an action for dissolution of a marriage or a legal separation on the ground of habitual intemperance, it shall be sufficient if the cause of action is proved to have existed until the time of the separation of the parties.

      (e) In an action for dissolution of a marriage or a legal separation on the ground of wilful desertion for one year, with total neglect of duty, the furnishing of financial support shall not disprove total neglect of duty, in the absence of other evidence.

      (f) For purposes of this section, "adultery" means voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than such person's spouse.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 1; P.A. 74-169, S. 1, 18; P.A. 78-230, S. 18, 54; P.A. 91-19, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 rephrased Subsec. (c) and applied provisions to decrees of legal separation; P.A. 78-230 restated provisions, adding Subdiv. indicators in Subsec. (c) and creating Subsecs. (d) and (e) from provisions formerly in Subsec. (c); Sec. 46-32 transferred to Sec. 46b-40 in 1979; P.A. 91-19 added Subsec. (f) defining "adultery".

      See Sec. 46b-48 re dissolution of marriage or annulment upon conviction of crime against chastity.

      Annotations to former section 46-32:

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 183 C. 433.

      Subsec. (c):

      Standard for marriage dissolution of "irretrievable breakdown" is not unconstitutional as a denial of due process since language is reasonably precise and not vague, uncertain or indefinite. 35 CS 123.

      Annotations to present section:

      Constitutional even without judicial guidelines to limit discretionary fact-finding of trial courts as to irretrievable breakdown (Subsec. (c)(1)). 178 C. 254. Cited. 184 C. 307. Cited. 190 C. 269; Id., 657. Cited. 194 C. 312. Cited. 224 C. 749.

      Cited. 13 CA 282. Cited. 25 CA 210.

      Cited. 44 CS 431.

      Subsec. (a):

      Subdiv. (1) cited. 35 CA 581.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 15 CA 96.

      Subsec. (c):

      Subdiv. (1) cited. 179 C. 568. Irretrievable breakdown not unconstitutionally vague within strictures of due process. 181 C. 225. Subdiv. (1) cited. 183 C. 512. Cited. 184 C. 558. Subdiv. (3) cited. 185 C. 156.

      Subdiv. (1) cited. 4 CA 611. Subdiv. (9) cited. 13 CA 632. Trial court rejected defendant's claim that statute infringed on his religious beliefs because statute permitted plaintiff to obtain a divorce against his wishes. Statute is a valid and neutral law of general applicability. 82 CA 41.


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      Sec. 46b-41. (Formerly Sec. 46-36a). Complaint includes cross-complaints or cross actions. Whenever the word "complaint" is used in this chapter or section 46b-1 or 51-348a, it shall include cross-complaints or cross actions where appropriate.

      (P.A. 74-169, S. 15, 18.)

      History: Sec. 46-36a transferred to Sec. 46b-41 in 1979 and internal section references revised as necessary to reflect transfer of those sections.

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      Sec. 46b-42. (Formerly Sec. 46-33). Jurisdiction. The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all complaints seeking a decree of annulment, dissolution of a marriage or legal separation.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 2.)

      History: Sec. 46-33 transferred to Sec. 46b-42 in 1979.

      Annotations to former section 46-33:

      Cited. 34 CS 251; Id., 628.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 11 CA 150. Cited. 13 CA 282.


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      Sec. 46b-43. (Formerly Sec. 46-34). Capacity of minor to prosecute or defend. Any married minor may, in his own name, prosecute or defend to final judgment an action for annulment or dissolution of a marriage or for legal separation and may participate in all judicial proceedings with respect thereto.

      (1971, P.A. 8; P.A. 73-373, S. 41; P.A. 78-230, S. 19, 54.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 substituted "annulment or dissolution of marriage" for "divorce" and authorized married minor to participate in all judicial proceedings relating to annulment, dissolution or legal separation; P.A. 78-230 made technical change; Sec. 46-34 transferred to Sec. 46b-43 in 1979.

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      Sec. 46b-44. (Formerly Sec. 46-35). Residency requirement. (a) A complaint for dissolution of a marriage or for legal separation may be filed at any time after either party has established residence in this state.

      (b) Temporary relief pursuant to the complaint may be granted in accordance with sections 46b-56 and 46b-83 at any time after either party has established residence in this state.

      (c) A decree dissolving a marriage or granting a legal separation may be entered if: (1) One of the parties to the marriage has been a resident of this state for at least the twelve months next preceding the date of the filing of the complaint or next preceding the date of the decree; or (2) one of the parties was domiciled in this state at the time of the marriage and returned to this state with the intention of permanently remaining before the filing of the complaint; or (3) the cause for the dissolution of the marriage arose after either party moved into this state.

      (d) For the purposes of this section, any person who has served or is serving with the armed forces, as defined by section 27-103, or the merchant marine, and who was a resident of this state at the time of his or her entry shall be deemed to have continuously resided in this state during the time he or she has served or is serving with the armed forces or merchant marine.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 3; P.A. 74-169, S. 2, 18; P.A. 78-230, S. 20, 54; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-11, S. 36, 70.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 substituted "either party" for "plaintiff" and added feminine personal pronouns where occurring; P.A. 78-230 reordered and restated provisions and divided section into Subsecs.; Sec. 46-35 transferred to Sec. 46b-44 in 1979 and internal section references revised as necessary to reflect sections' transfer; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-11 made a technical change in Subsec. (c).

      Annotations to former section 46-35:

      Jurisdiction for legal separation and divorce, under former Secs. 46-15 and 46-29, interrelationship of sections. 166 C. 476. Under this section a showing of residence by one party is, without showing of domicile, sufficient to establish jurisdiction for purposes of granting alimony or support pendente lite. 171 C. 433. Cited. Id., 433.

      Cited. 4 CA 581.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 208 C. 329. Cited. 226 C. 1.

      Cited. 3 CA 679. Cited. 4 CA 581. Cited. 10 CA 566. Cited. 13 CA 632. Cited. 27 CA 142. Cited. 41 CA 382.

      Cited. 41 CS 258.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 22 CA 410. Cited. 33 CA 214. Connecticut has subject matter jurisdiction over dissolution action brought by nonresident against Indian tribe member residing on a reservation in Connecticut. 243 C. 255.


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      Sec. 46b-45. (Formerly Sec. 46-36). Service and filing of complaint. (a) A proceeding for annulment, dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall be commenced by the service and filing of a complaint as in all other civil actions in the Superior Court for the judicial district in which one of the parties resides. The complaint may also be made by the Attorney General in a proceeding for annulment of a void marriage. The complaint shall be served on the other party.

      (b) If any party is an inmate of a mental institution in this state, a copy of the complaint shall be served on the Commissioner of Administrative Services personally or by registered or certified mail. If any party is confined in an institution in any other state, a copy shall be so served on the superintendent of the institution in which the party is confined.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 4; P.A. 74-169, S. 3, 18; P.A. 77-614, S. 70, 610; P.A. 78-230, S. 21, 54; 78-280, S. 2, 127.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 clarified provisions, substituting "service and filing of a complaint as in all other civil actions" for "making a complaint"; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of finance and control with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and restated provisions; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties, a change effected as well in P.A. 78-230; Sec. 46-36 transferred to Sec. 46b-45 in 1979.

      See Sec. 46b-10 re reconciliation attempts ordered by court in action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

      Annotations to former section 46-36:

      Cited. 173 C. 161.

      Cited. 31 CS 188.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 181 C. 225. Cited. 185 C. 249; Id., 491. Cited. 208 C. 329. Cited. 224 C. 749.

      Cited. 35 CA 449.


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      Sec. 46b-45a. Allegation of pregnancy in pleadings. Disagreement as to paternity. Hearing. (a) If, during the pendency of a dissolution or annulment of marriage, the wife is pregnant, she may so allege in the pleadings. The parties may in their pleadings allege and answer that the child born of the pregnancy will or will not be issue of the marriage.

      (b) If the parties to a dissolution or annulment of marriage disagree as to whether or not the husband is the father of the child born of the pregnancy, the court shall hold a hearing within a reasonable period after the birth of the child to determine paternity.

      (P.A. 84-386.)

      Cited. 234 C. 51.

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      Sec. 46b-46. (Formerly Sec. 46-39). Notice to nonresident party. Jurisdiction over nonresident for alimony and support. (a) On a complaint for dissolution, annulment, legal separation or custody, if the defendant resides out of or is absent from the state or the whereabouts of the defendant are unknown to the plaintiff, any judge or clerk of the Supreme Court or of the Superior Court may make such order of notice as such judge or clerk deems reasonable. After notice has been given and proved to the court, the court may hear the complaint if it finds that the defendant has actually received notice that the complaint is pending. If it does not appear that the defendant has had such notice, the court may hear the case, or, if it sees cause, order such further notice to be given as it deems reasonable and continue the complaint until the order is complied with. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the jurisdictional requirements of chapter 815p in a complaint for custody.

      (b) The court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the nonresident party as to all matters concerning temporary or permanent alimony or support of children, only if: (1) The nonresident party has received actual notice under subsection (a) of this section; and (2) the party requesting alimony meets the residency requirement of section 46b-44.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7330; P.A. 73-373, S. 9; P.A. 75-276; P.A. 78-230, S. 24, 54; P.A. 91-391, S. 3; P.A. 95-310, S. 1, 9; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 52, 75; P.A. 03-19, S. 104.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 substituted complaints "for dissolution or annulment of marriage or for legal separation" for complaints "for divorce"; Sec. 46-17 transferred to Sec. 46-39 in 1975; P.A. 75-276 added Subsec. (b) re court's jurisdiction over nonresident party in matters concerning alimony or support; P.A. 78-230 rephrased provisions and substituted "defendant" for "adverse party"; Sec. 46-39 transferred to Sec. 46b-46 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 46-35 renumbered to reflect its transfer; P.A. 91-391 amended Subsec. (a) by adding "or custody" after "legal separation" and adding "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the jurisdictional requirements of chapter 815o in a complaint for custody"; (Revisor's note: In 1995 the words "to all", which were omitted inadvertently during the preparation of the 1979 revision, were reinstated editorially by the Revisors in Subsec. (b) after the words "party as"); P.A. 95-310 deleted Subsec. (b)(3) requiring both parties' domicile in state immediately prior to or at time of separation, effective January 1, 1996; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 amended Subsec. (b)(2) by deleting "or support of children", effective January 1, 1998; P.A. 03-19 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective May 12, 2003.

      Annotations to former section 46-17:

      Not indispensable that service of notice should be certified by oath of party serving. 23 C. 243. Notice contemplated is one which will be most likely to reach defendant. 133 C. 458. Pertains to divorce only and does not apply to annulment actions 142 C. 173. Cited. 147 C. 238. This statute authorizes but does not require an order of notice in a divorce action when the defendant resides out of or is absent from the state. Resort to the statute is unnecessary if the service utilized itself satisfies due process 150 C. 15. Cited. 199 C. 287. Cited. 226 C. 1.

      Where there was no service on the defendant in the manner directed, the result is not a mere defect or irregularity but a complete failure to effect any service whatever. 4 CS 140. Cited. 14 CS 204. Where defendant had once lived in Stamford but left there before the divorce action was commenced, notice of the action in a Stamford newspaper is not sufficient notice. Id., 321.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 199 C. 287. Cited. 208 C. 329. Cited. 222 C. 906. Order of notice requirement is permissive, not mandatory. 226 C. 1.

      Cited. 27 CA 142. Cited. 41 CA 382. Trial court correctly determined that defendant's contact with Connecticut was sufficient to justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction over him and that exercise of such jurisdiction was reasonable and comported with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. 54 CA 634.

      Cited. 41 CS 429.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 178 C. 308.

      Cited. 42 CA 254.

      Subsec. (b):

      Statute permits court to modify a dissolution judgment to require nonresident defendant to pay child support if latter had actual notice of modification proceedings. Reference to Subsec. (a) of statute discussed. 199 C. 287.

      Cited. 3 CA 679. Cited. 42 CA 254.


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      Sec. 46b-47. (Formerly Sec. 46-40). Complaint for dissolution of marriage on ground of confinement for mental illness; procedure. (a) A copy of the writ and complaint in an action or cross action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation on the ground of confinement for mental illness shall be served on the adverse party, on the conservator, if any, and on the Commissioner of Administrative Services at Hartford. Service on the conservator, if resident outside the state, and on the commissioner, may be made by registered or certified mail. If the adverse party is confined in any other state, a copy shall be served on the superintendent of the institution in which the adverse party is confined.

      (b) If the conservator does not appear in court, or if the adverse party has no conservator, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the adverse party.

      (c) On motion of either party, the court shall appoint two or more psychiatrists who are diplomates of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and who are not on the staff of any state hospital for mental illness, who shall investigate the mental status of such person. Within a reasonable time thereafter, the psychiatrists shall report to the court the facts found by them together with their opinion as to the probability of further indefinite prolonged hospitalization for the mental illness. The testimony of no psychiatrists other than those appointed by the court shall be received upon the trial of such action.

      (d) The fees and expenses of the psychiatrists and of the guardian ad litem shall be fixed by the court and shall be paid by the plaintiff.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7331; 1951, S. 3003d; 1957, P.A. 502, S. 2; P.A. 73-373, S. 11; P.A. 74-169, S. 7, 18; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 78-230, S. 25, 54.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 substituted actions for "dissolution of a marriage" for "divorce" actions; P.A. 74-169 applied provisions to legal separations and to cross actions and substituted "adverse party" for "defendant"; Sec. 46-19 transferred to Sec. 46-40 in 1975; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of human resources for commissioner of social services, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs., restated provisions and substituted commissioner of administrative services for commissioner of social services, negating name change called for by P.A. 77-614; Sec. 46-40 transferred to Sec. 46b-47 in 1979.

      Annotations to former section 46-19:

      Cited. 4 CS 249. When defendant confined outside state, both superintendent and commissioner of welfare must be served. 17 CS 410.


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      Sec. 46b-48. (Formerly Sec. 46-37). Dissolution of marriage or annulment upon conviction of crime against chastity; procedure. When any married person has been convicted in any court of an offense against chastity which would be ground for dissolution or annulment of the marriage, any person aggrieved may petition the Superior Court within four months of the conviction, and upon notice to the person convicted, the court may grant a dissolution or annulment of the marriage or such other relief as the court determines. No provision of this section shall be construed to affect the right of any aggrieved person to apply to the civil side of the court for similar relief.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7329; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 126; P.A. 73-373, S. 10; P.A. 78-230, S. 22, 54.)

      History: 1971 act applied provisions to convictions in any court rather than specifically in superior court and required that petition be made to superior court rather than to the court "before which such conviction was had", imposing four-month deadline where previously petition was required "at the same term", effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless pending matters deemed transferable; P.A. 73-373 replaced "divorce" with "dissolution of marriage"; P.A. 78-230 restated provisions; Sec. 46-37 transferred to Sec. 46b-48 in 1979.

      See Sec. 46b-10 re reconciliation attempts ordered by court in action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

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      Sec. 46b-49. (Formerly Sec. 46-45). Private hearing. When it considers it necessary in the interests of justice and the persons involved, the court shall, upon the motion of either party or of counsel for any minor children, direct the hearing of any matter under this chapter and sections 17b-743, 17b-744, 45a-257, 46b-1, 46b-6, 47-14g, 51-348a and 52-362 to be private. The court may exclude all persons except the officers of the court, a court reporter, the parties, their witnesses and their counsel.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 13; P.A. 78-230, S. 30, 54; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 53, 75.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 restated provisions and deleted reference to Sec. 46-5h; Sec. 46-45 transferred to Sec. 46b-49 in 1979 and internal section references revised as necessary to reflect transfer of those sections; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made a technical change, effective January 1, 1998.

      See Sec. 46b-11 re closed hearings and records in family relations matters.

      Cited. 2 CA 132.

      Cited. 36 CS 352. Protecting stability of leading Fortune 500 corporation's shares of stock outweighed public's and media's right to access files and hearings in divorce proceedings of high ranking executive of such corporation. 45 CS 208.


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      Sec. 46b-50. (Formerly Sec. 46-46). Number of witnesses in uncontested action. In any action under this chapter, where the complaint for dissolution of marriage or separation is uncontested, the judge in his sole discretion shall decide the number of witnesses required, if any, in addition to the plaintiff or defendant on a cross complaint, except as provided in subsection (a) of section 46b-51.

      (1972, P.A. 164, S. 3; P.A. 73-373, S. 40, 44; P.A. 74-338, 12, 93, 94; P.A. 78-230, S. 31, 54.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 replaced reference to divorce with reference to dissolution of marriage and added exception re Sec. 46-48(a); P.A. 74-338 made technical corrections; P.A. 78-230 rephrased section but made no substantive change; Sec. 46-46 transferred to Sec. 46b-50 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 46-48 revised to reflect its transfer.

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      Sec. 46b-51. (Formerly Sec. 46-48). Stipulation of parties and finding of irretrievable breakdown. (a) In any action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation the court shall make a finding that a marriage breakdown has occurred where (1) the parties, and not their attorneys, execute a written stipulation that their marriage has broken down irretrievably, or (2) both parties are physically present in court and stipulate that their marriage has broken down irretrievably and have submitted an agreement concerning the custody, care, education, visitation, maintenance or support of their children, if any, and concerning alimony and the disposition of property. The testimony of either party in support of that conclusion shall be sufficient.

      (b) In any case in which the court finds, after hearing, that a cause enumerated in subsection (c) of section 46b-40 exists, the court shall enter a decree dissolving the marriage or granting a legal separation. In entering the decree, the court may either set forth the cause of action on which the decree is based or dissolve the marriage or grant a legal separation on the basis of irretrievable breakdown. In no case shall the decree granted be in favor of either party.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 8; P.A. 74-169, S. 6, 18; 74-338, S. 92, 94; P.A. 78-230, S. 33, 54.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 clarified Subsec. (a) by specifying execution of written stipulation or personal stipulation "where both parties are physically present in court" that marriage is irretrievably broken and referred to legal separation in Subsec. (b) deleting detailed description of court's finding that marriage is irretrievably broken or that parties have lived apart for 18 months and there is no reasonable prospect that they will be reconciled; P.A. 74-338 made technical change in Subsec. (a); P.A. 78-230 restated provisions and deleted Subsec. (c) which had stated that defenses of recrimination and condonation to action for dissolution of marriage were abolished; Sec. 46-48 transferred to Sec. 46b-51 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 46-32 revised to reflect its transfer.

      Annotations to former section 46-48:

      Cited. 174 C. 602. Cited. 177 C. 173.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 190 C. 657.

      Cited. 40 CA 570. Cited. 45 CA 737.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 186 C. 311.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 185 C. 156.

      Cited. 38 CS 37.


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      Sec. 46b-52. Recrimination and condonation abolished. The defenses of recrimination and condonation to any action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation are abolished.

      (P.A. 78-230, S. 2, 54.)

      Cited. 185 C. 156.

      Cited. 4 CA 575.


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      Sec. 46b-53. (Formerly Sec. 46-41). Conciliation procedures; privileged communications. (a) On or after the return day of a complaint seeking the dissolution of a marriage or a legal separation and prior to the expiration of the ninety-day period specified in section 46b-67 either spouse or the counsel for any minor children of the marriage may submit a request for conciliation to the clerk of the court. The clerk shall forthwith enter an order that the parties meet with a conciliator mutually acceptable to them or, if the parties cannot agree as to a conciliator, with a conciliator named by the court. The conciliator shall, in any case, be a clergyman, a physician, a domestic relations officer or a person experienced in marriage counseling.

      (b) Within such ninety-day period or within thirty days of the request, whichever is later, there shall be two mandatory consultations with the conciliator by each party to explore the possibility of reconciliation or of resolving the emotional problems which might lead to continuing conflicts following the dissolution of the marriage. Failure of the plaintiff or defendant to attend these consultations except for good cause shall preclude further action on the complaint until the expiration of six months from the date of the return day; provided the court may order the termination of such stay, upon the motion of either party and for good cause shown. Further consultations may be held with the consent of both parties, or, if the conciliator recommends one or more additional consultations and either one of the parties agrees, the court may order such additional consultations.

      (c) All communications during these consultations shall be absolutely privileged, except that the conciliator shall report to the court whether or not the parties attended the consultations.

      (d) The reasonable fees of the conciliator shall be paid by one or both of the parties as the court directs. No fee shall be charged by a domestic relations officer for such services. If the parties are unable to pay the fees which may be charged by the conciliator, only a domestic relations officer may be named as the conciliator.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 6; P.A. 74-169, S. 5, 18; P.A. 75-530, S. 11, 35; P.A. 78-230, S. 26, 54; P.A. 02-132, S. 80.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 specified that each party must consult at least twice with conciliator; P.A. 75-530 referred to return day of complaint rather than its date of filing, authorized domestic relations officers to serve as conciliators, added proviso re termination of stay in proceedings and added exception re conciliators' fees; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; Sec. 46-41 transferred to Sec. 46b-53 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 46-44 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 02-132 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provisions re one or more additional consultations.

      See Sec. 46b-10 re reconciliation attempts ordered by court in action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

      Cited. 23 CA 330.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 5 CA 649.


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      Sec. 46b-53a. Mediation program for persons filing for dissolution of marriage. Privileged communications. (a) A program of mediation services for persons filing for dissolution of marriage may be established in such judicial districts of the Superior Court as the Chief Court Administrator may designate. Mediation services shall address property, financial, child custody and visitation issues.

      (b) All oral or written communications made by either party to the mediator or made between the parties in the presence of the mediator, while participating in the mediation program conducted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, are privileged and inadmissible as evidence in any court proceedings unless the parties otherwise agree.

      (P.A. 87-316, S. 8; 87-589, S. 36, 87; P.A. 93-92.)

      History: P.A. 87-589 made technical change; P.A. 93-92 added Subsec. (b) re privileged communications made by parties to mediator or in presence of mediator.

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      Sec. 46b-54. (Formerly Sec. 46-43). Counsel for minor children. Duties. (a) The court may appoint counsel for any minor child or children of either or both parties at any time after the return day of a complaint under section 46b-45, if the court deems it to be in the best interests of the child or children. The court may appoint counsel on its own motion, or at the request of either of the parties or of the legal guardian of any child or at the request of any child who is of sufficient age and capable of making an intelligent request.

      (b) Counsel for the child or children may also be appointed on the motion of the court or on the request of any person enumerated in subsection (a) of this section in any case before the court when the court finds that the custody, care, education, visitation or support of a minor child is in actual controversy, provided the court may make any order regarding a matter in controversy prior to the appointment of counsel where it finds immediate action necessary in the best interests of any child.

      (c) Counsel for the child or children shall be heard on all matters pertaining to the interests of any child, including the custody, care, support, education and visitation of the child, so long as the court deems such representation to be in the best interests of the child.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 16; P.A. 74-169, S. 9, 18; P.A. 75-530, S. 13, 35; P.A. 78-230, S. 28, 54.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 rephrased provision re appointment of counsel for children, deleting requirement that counsel be appointed "in any case where an agreement has been submitted with respect to such child or children as provided in subsection (a) of section 46-42"; P.A. 75-530 referred to return day of complaint rather than its date of filing and added general reference to hearing of counsel on all matters pertaining to "interests" of child or children; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and restated provisions; Sec. 46-43 transferred to Sec. 46b-54 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 46-36 revised to reflect its transfer.

      Annotations to former section 46-43:

      Cited. 174 C. 244.

      Cited. 7 CA 720.

      Counsel for minor child appointed where motion brought to change order for the child's custody. It's in child's best interest to appoint independent counsel where motion made to change custody order. 31 CS 340. Cited. 33 CS 100.

      Annotations to present section:

      Appointment of counsel for minor child is in discretion of court and court did not abuse discretion in failing to appoint counsel. 180 C. 533. Cited. 181 C. 622. Cited. 186 C. 311. Cited. 196 C. 260. Cited. 198 C. 138. Cited. 207 C. 725. Cited. 231 C. 928. Under certain limited circumstances minor children may appeal from trial court judgment concerning support obligations of the parents; judgment of appellate court reversed. 235 C. 82. Cited. 241 C. 767. Attorneys appointed by court pursuant to section are entitled to absolute, quasi-judicial immunity for actions taken during, or activities necessary to, performance of functions that are integral to the judicial process, and defendant attorney entitled to absolute immunity because complaint not grounded on any conduct by defendant in which she acted outside usual role of an attorney for minor children. 274 C. 533. Trial court may protect minor's interests in dissolution action solely through appointment of an attorney, rather than also requiring simultaneous appointment of a guardian ad litem or naming of a next friend. 276 C. 526. Trial court abused its discretion by appointing an attorney for minor children for a proceeding intended solely to address the matter of attorney's fees. 294 C. 484.

      Cited. 8 CA 50. Cited. 11 CA 189. Cited. 18 CA 622. Cited. 23 CA 509. Cited. 35 CA 421; Id., 449. Cited. 37 CA 194. Cited. 40 CA 675. Appointment of attorney to represent a minor child rests within the sound discretion of court. 78 CA 493. Attorneys appointed pursuant to section are entitled to qualified quasi-judicial immunity, and such immunity is properly pleaded as a special defense and the issue raised by using either motion to strike or motion for summary judgment. 81 CA 382.

      Cited. 35 CS 237.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 224 C. 776.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 32 CA 152.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 224 C. 776.

      Cited. 39 CA 162. Trial court did not err in permitting attorney for the minor child to assert psychologist-patient privilege as basis for an oral motion in limine re communications made by the child, where defendant failed to request appointment of a guardian ad litem for the child. 72 CA 193. Duties of guardian ad litem may subsume those traditionally performed by counsel when counsel is the child's sole representative. 76 CA 693.


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      Sec. 46b-55. (Formerly Sec. 46-63). Attorney General as party. Paternity establishment. (a) The Attorney General shall be and remain a party to any action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment, and to any proceedings after judgment in such action, if any party to the action, or any child of any party, is receiving or has received aid or care from the state. The Attorney General may also be a party to such action for the purpose of establishing, enforcing or modifying an order for support or alimony if any party to the action is receiving support enforcement services pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

      (b) If any child born during a marriage, which is terminated by a divorce decree or decree of dissolution of marriage, is found not to be issue of such marriage, the child or his representative may bring an action in the Superior Court to establish the paternity of the child within one year after the date of the judgment of divorce or decree of dissolution of the marriage of his natural mother, notwithstanding the provisions of section 46b-160.

      (1971, P.A. 712, S. 1-4; P.A. 73-373, S. 42; P.A. 74-183, S. 271, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 234, 681; P.A. 78-230, S. 47, 54; P.A. 86-359, S. 32, 44.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 substituted "dissolution of marriage" for "divorce" in Subsec. (a), deleted former Subsecs. (b) and (c) re appointment of attorney to protect child's interests and re action to establish paternity of child who is determined not to be issue of the marriage in question and relettered former Subsec. (d) accordingly, adding references to decrees of dissolution of marriage; P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas in Subsec. (b), effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court in Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-230 rephrased provisions but made no substantive change; Sec. 46-63 transferred to Sec. 46b-55 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 52-435a revised to reflect that section's transfer; P.A. 86-359 amended Subsec. (a) to permit attorney general to be party to action for purpose of establishing, enforcing or modifying order of support or alimony if any party to action is receiving support enforcement services.

      See chapter 815y re paternity matters.

      Annotations to former section 46-63:

      Cited. 31 CS 188. Cited. 34 CS 187; Id., 628.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 180 C. 114. Cited. 185 C. 180.

      Cited. 11 CA 43. Cited. 37 CA 856.

      Cited. 40 CS 6.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 188 C. 98; Id., 354. Cited. 200 C. 656. Cited. 219 C. 703. Cited. 236 C. 719.

      Cited. 15 CA 745.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 234 C. 51. Cited. 235 C. 82.

      Cited. 34 CA 129; judgment reversed, see 234 C. 51.


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      Sec. 46b-56. (Formerly Sec. 46-42). Orders re custody, care, education, visitation and support of children. Best interests of the child. Access to records of minor child by noncustodial parent. Orders re therapy, counseling and drug or alcohol screening. (a) In any controversy before the Superior Court as to the custody or care of minor children, and at any time after the return day of any complaint under section 46b-45, the court may make or modify any proper order regarding the custody, care, education, visitation and support of the children if it has jurisdiction under the provisions of chapter 815p. Subject to the provisions of section 46b-56a, the court may assign parental responsibility for raising the child to the parents jointly, or may award custody to either parent or to a third party, according to its best judgment upon the facts of the case and subject to such conditions and limitations as it deems equitable. The court may also make any order granting the right of visitation of any child to a third party to the action, including, but not limited to, grandparents.

      (b) In making or modifying any order as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the rights and responsibilities of both parents shall be considered and the court shall enter orders accordingly that serve the best interests of the child and provide the child with the active and consistent involvement of both parents commensurate with their abilities and interests. Such orders may include, but shall not be limited to: (1) Approval of a parental responsibility plan agreed to by the parents pursuant to section 46b-56a; (2) the award of joint parental responsibility of a minor child to both parents, which shall include (A) provisions for residential arrangements with each parent in accordance with the needs of the child and the parents, and (B) provisions for consultation between the parents and for the making of major decisions regarding the child's health, education and religious upbringing; (3) the award of sole custody to one parent with appropriate parenting time for the noncustodial parent where sole custody is in the best interests of the child; or (4) any other custody arrangements as the court may determine to be in the best interests of the child.

      (c) In making or modifying any order as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the court shall consider the best interests of the child, and in doing so may consider, but shall not be limited to, one or more of the following factors: (1) The temperament and developmental needs of the child; (2) the capacity and the disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child; (3) any relevant and material information obtained from the child, including the informed preferences of the child; (4) the wishes of the child's parents as to custody; (5) the past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the best interests of the child; (6) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage such continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent as is appropriate, including compliance with any court orders; (7) any manipulation by or coercive behavior of the parents in an effort to involve the child in the parents' dispute; (8) the ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child; (9) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school and community environments; (10) the length of time that the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity in such environment, provided the court may consider favorably a parent who voluntarily leaves the child's family home pendente lite in order to alleviate stress in the household; (11) the stability of the child's existing or proposed residences, or both; (12) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability of a proposed custodial parent or other party, in and of itself, shall not be determinative of custody unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interests of the child; (13) the child's cultural background; (14) the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, if any domestic violence has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual or the child; (15) whether the child or a sibling of the child has been abused or neglected, as defined respectively in section 46b-120; and (16) whether the party satisfactorily completed participation in a parenting education program established pursuant to section 46b-69b. The court is not required to assign any weight to any of the factors that it considers.

      (d) Upon the issuance of any order assigning custody of the child to the Commissioner of Children and Families, or not later than sixty days after the issuance of such order, the court shall make a determination whether the Department of Children and Families made reasonable efforts to keep the child with his or her parents prior to the issuance of such order and, if such efforts were not made, whether such reasonable efforts were not possible, taking into consideration the best interests of the child, including the child's health and safety.

      (e) In determining whether a child is in need of support and, if in need, the respective abilities of the parents to provide support, the court shall take into consideration all the factors enumerated in section 46b-84.

      (f) When the court is not sitting, any judge of the court may make any order in the cause which the court might make under this section, including orders of injunction, prior to any action in the cause by the court.

      (g) A parent not granted custody of a minor child shall not be denied the right of access to the academic, medical, hospital or other health records of such minor child, unless otherwise ordered by the court for good cause shown.

      (h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, when a motion for modification of custody or visitation is pending before the court or has been decided by the court and the investigation ordered by the court pursuant to section 46b-6 recommends psychiatric or psychological therapy for a child, and such therapy would, in the court's opinion, be in the best interests of the child and aid the child's response to a modification, the court may order such therapy and reserve judgment on the motion for modification.

      (i) As part of a decision concerning custody or visitation, the court may order either parent or both of the parents and any child of such parents to participate in counseling and drug or alcohol screening, provided such participation is in the best interests of the child.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 15; P.A. 74-169, S. 8, 18; P.A. 75-530, S. 12, 35; P.A. 77-488, S. 2; P.A. 78-230, S. 27, 54; 78-318, S. 28; P.A. 80-29; P.A. 81-402, S. 1; P.A. 84-42; P.A. 93-319, S. 3, 4; P.A. 99-137; P.A. 01-186, S. 12; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 35; P.A. 03-19, S. 105; P.A. 05-258, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 made minor changes in wording; P.A. 75-530 replaced reference to filing date of complaint with reference to return day of complaint; P.A. 77-488 added provision authorizing court to make orders re visitation rights for third parties such as grandparents; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and restated provisions; P.A. 78-318 qualified court's power to make orders re care, custody and visitation by adding "if it has jurisdiction under the provisions of Ch. 815o"; Sec. 46-42 transferred to Sec. 46b-56 in 1979 and references to other sections within section revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 80-29 authorized assignment of joint custody in Subsec. (a); P.A. 81-402 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that the court is subject to the provisions of Sec. 46b-56a in assigning custody and changed the order of possible custody assignments so that "to the parents jointly" is listed first, and amended Subsec. (b) to provide that the court may consider the causes for the dissolution or legal separation if the causes are relevant in a determination of the best interests of the child; P.A. 84-42 added Subsec. (e) re access of noncustodial parent to academic, medical, hospital or other health records of minor children; P.A. 93-319 added a provision in Subsec. (b) requiring the court to consider whether a party has completed a parenting education program when making or modifying a custody or visitation order, effective January 1, 1994, and applicable to actions pending on, or filed on or after, that date; P.A. 99-137 added Subsec. (f) re order of psychiatric or psychological therapy for a child if it would be in the best interests of the child and would aid the child's response to a modification of custody or visitation; P.A. 01-186 added Subsec. (g) re court-ordered participation in counseling and drug or alcohol screening; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 amended Subsec. (b) to add provision requiring the court upon issuance of any order assigning custody of the child to the Commissioner of Children and Families, or not later than 60 days thereafter, to make a determination whether the Department of Children and Families made reasonable efforts to keep the child with his or her parents prior to the issuance of such order and, if such efforts were not made, whether such reasonable efforts were not possible considering the best interests of the child, effective August 15, 2002; P.A. 03-19 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective May 12, 2003; P.A. 05-258 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting "at any time" and replacing "education and support of the children and of care, custody and visitation" with "custody, care, education, visitation and support of the children" re court making or modifying proper order, replacing "assign the custody of any child to the parents jointly," with "assign parental responsibility for raising the child to the parents jointly, or may award custody" and replacing "third party" with "third party to the action" re visitation rights, amended Subsec. (b) by replacing former Subdivs. (1) and (2) and other provisions re custody or visitation order with provisions re consideration of rights, responsibilities and involvement of both parents and new Subdivs. (1) to (4) re provisions that may be included in orders, added new Subsec. (c) re best interests of the child and factors that court may consider, designated provisions of existing Subsec. (b) re order assigning custody to Commissioner of Children and Families as new Subsec. (d) and made a technical change therein, and redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (g) as new Subsecs. (e) to (i) and made technical changes therein.

      Annotations to former section 46-42:

      Cited. 171 C. 433. Cited. 172 C. 341. Decision of trial court with respect to custody and care of minor children must stand unless court has abused its discretion. 173 C. 161. Discussion of ante nuptial agreements relating to property rights upon dissolution of the marriage. 181 C. 482.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 177 C. 47. Court has no authority to issue an order of support against a husband as neither the biological nor adoptive parent of the child. 180 C. 114. Court did not exceed its authority by setting aside certain personal property for the use of the minor children. Id., 528. Cited. 181 C. 622. Cited. 182 C. 545. Restrictions on visitation rights discussed. 184 C. 36. Cited. 185 C. 275. Until entry of final decree the court has discretion to modify custody without first finding material change of circumstances since previous award. 186 C. 118. Cited. Id., 709. Cited. 190 C. 345. Statute read together with Sec. 46b-61 and Sec. 46b-93 provide that it is permissible under certain circumstances to award child support even though child is not within this jurisdiction. 191 C. 92. Cited. 196 C. 10; Id., 260. Cited. 201 C. 50. Cited. 212 C. 441. Temporary custody order is final judgment for purposes of appellate review. Appellate court's dismissal of appeal reversed. 224 C. 749. Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582. Cited. 239 C. 336. Trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to order pendente lite child support, regardless of whether child at issue is considered a "child of the marriage". 248 C. 487. In order to uphold constitutionality of section, court imposed a standing requirement that a third party allege a parent-like relationship with the child for third party custody awards and third parties seeking intervention in existing custody proceedings. 285 C. 24.

      Cited. 2 CA 472. Cited. 4 CA 94. Cited. 8 CA 50. Cited. 13 CA 300. Cited. 14 CA 296. Cited. 18 CA 622. Cited. 19 CA 146. Cited. 22 CA 802. Cited. 25 CA 693. Cited. 35 CA 421. Cited. 37 CA 397. Cited. 41 CA 716. Cited. 42 CA 583; Id., 651. Substantial modification of visitation order requires evidentiary hearing to determine best interest of child. 54 CA 50. Court had sufficient evidence to modify custody order even without the benefit of prejudgment psychological evaluation of defendant. 61 CA 175. Trial court properly decided parental relocation with child pursuant to statutory best interest of child standard because the interests and circumstances of the parties at the postjudgment stage differ from those existing at time of the dissolution. 68 CA 173. Central to courts' review of modifications of custody orders under section is the concept that courts must be guided by best interests of the child. 72 CA 528. Although both parties to marital dissolution action agreed to unrestricted authority of the arbitrator-attorney for the minor children in the event of a controversy by binding arbitration with no express language restricting the breadth of issues, no reservation of explicit rights and no contingency for court review, the very limited review runs afoul of statute which requires that court exercising its equitable jurisdiction re custody assure itself that its judgment will serve best interests of the child and was an improper delegation of judicial authority. 83 CA 115.

      Cited. 35 CS 237. Cited. 41 CS 258; Id., 429. Does not confer parents, acting as grandparents, whose son's parental rights have been terminated, the authorization to bring a habeas corpus petition to seek custody of a grandchild. 47 CS 273.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 183 C. 353. Cited. 185 C. 249. Cited. 201 C. 229. Cited. 207 C. 217. In a custody proceeding pursuant to this section, the third party must prove by a fair preponderance standard that the party has a parent-like relationship with the child, parental custody would be detrimental to the child and third party custody would be in the child's best interest. 285 C. 24.

      Joint custody discussed. 5 CA 649. Cited. 7 CA 745. Cited. 41 CA 861; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 490. Cited. 43 CA 327. Trial court properly determined that in the absence of controversy before the court involving custody or care of minor children, section does not provide an alternative statutory basis to Sec. 46b-59 so as to allow grandparents to pursue an action for visitation. 103 CA 125.

      Subsec. (b):

      Court not obligated to interview each child before decision on custody. 178 C. 254. Cited 179 C. 287. Court did not abuse its discretion by awarding custody to mother in accordance with thirteen-year-old child's wish despite mother's failure to appear at the hearing. 180 C. 132. While the rights, wishes and desires of the parents must be considered it is nevertheless the ultimate welfare of the child which must control the decision of the court. Id., 533. Statute which vests discretion in trial court to determine the best interest of a child in awarding custody without objective guidelines is not unconstitutionally vague. Id., 705. Neither applicable statutes nor case law recognize any presumption in custody matters. 181 C. 622. Cited. 183 C. 353. Cited. 201 C. 229. Cited. 207 C. 48; Id., 217. Cited. 212 C. 63. Cited. 224 C. 776. Cited. 235 C. 82. Subdiv. (1) cited. 241 C. 767.

      Court must resolve issue of custody in the best interests of the child whatever agreements have been made between the parents. 1 CA 356. Cited. 5 CA 649. Cited. 23 CA 509. Cited. 24 CA 426; Id., 804. Cited. 38 CA 263. Visitation by respondent mother was not in child's best interest when respondent had not been consistent in maintaining visitation with the child, scheduled visits had not gone well, the child had become attached to her aunt and uncle, respondent had not related naturally or interacted appropriately with the child and respondent's visits had been upsetting to the child. 63 CA 493. Court improperly incorporated parties' prior stipulated agreement into its final decree without making a best interests determination re children 17 months later at time of final decree. 98 CA 63.

      Cited. 38 CS 37.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 186 C. 191.

      Plain meaning of Sec., read within context of related statutes within Ch. 815j, makes clear that this Subsec. is intended to apply only in dissolution of marriage, legal separation and annulment actions. 103 CA 746. The language of this Subsec. does not compel the consideration of any particular factor or factors when determining the best interest of a child; rather, the court is free to consider the factors it determines to be most appropriate given the facts of each individual case. 108 CA 813.

      Subsec. (e):

      Cited. 201 C. 229.


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      Sec. 46b-56a. Joint custody. Definition. Presumption. Conciliation. Parental responsibility plan. Modification of orders. (a) For the purposes of this section, "joint custody" means an order awarding legal custody of the minor child to both parents, providing for joint decision-making by the parents and providing that physical custody shall be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure the child of continuing contact with both parents. The court may award joint legal custody without awarding joint physical custody where the parents have agreed to merely joint legal custody.

      (b) There shall be a presumption, affecting the burden of proof, that joint custody is in the best interests of a minor child where the parents have agreed to an award of joint custody or so agree in open court at a hearing for the purpose of determining the custody of the minor child or children of the marriage. If the court declines to enter an order awarding joint custody pursuant to this subsection, the court shall state in its decision the reasons for denial of an award of joint custody.

      (c) If only one parent seeks an order of joint custody upon a motion duly made, the court may order both parties to submit to conciliation at their own expense with the costs of such conciliation to be borne by the parties as the court directs according to each party's ability to pay.

      (d) In any proceeding before the Superior Court involving a dispute between the parents of a minor child with respect to the custody, care, education and upbringing of such child, the parents shall file with the court, at such time and in such form as provided by rule of court, a proposed parental responsibility plan that shall include, at a minimum, the following: (1) A schedule of the physical residence of the child during the year; (2) provisions allocating decision-making authority to one or both parents regarding the child's health, education and religious upbringing; (3) provisions for the resolution of future disputes between the parents, including, where appropriate, the involvement of a mental health professional or other parties to assist the parents in reaching a developmentally appropriate resolution to such disputes; (4) provisions for dealing with the parents' failure to honor their responsibilities under the plan; (5) provisions for dealing with the child's changing needs as the child grows and matures; and (6) provisions for minimizing the child's exposure to harmful parental conflict, encouraging the parents in appropriate circumstances to meet their responsibilities through agreements, and protecting the best interests of the child.

      (e) The objectives of a parental responsibility plan under this section are to provide for the child's physical care and emotional stability, to provide for the child's changing needs as the child grows and to set forth the authority and responsibility of each parent with respect to the child.

      (f) If both parents consent to a parental responsibility plan under this section, such plan shall be approved by the court as the custodial and access orders of the court pursuant to section 46b-56, unless the court finds that such plan as submitted and agreed to is not in the best interests of the child.

      (g) The court may modify any orders made under this section in accordance with section 46b-56.

      (P.A. 81-402, S. 2; P.A. 05-258, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 05-258 added Subsecs. (d) to (g) re parental responsibility plan and modification of orders.

      Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582.

      Joint custody discussed. 5 CA 649. Cited. 25 CA 366. Trial court did not abuse discretion when giving parent safe discretion re attendance at private school where there was joint custody. 55 CA 18. Section applies only where parents are sole petitioners for custody of child and there is agreement of both parents to share joint custody. 90 CA 744.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 207 C. 217.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 195 C. 202. Cited. 207 C. 217.


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      Sec. 46b-56b. Presumption re best interest of child to be in custody of parent. In any dispute as to the custody of a minor child involving a parent and a nonparent, there shall be a presumption that it is in the best interest of the child to be in the custody of the parent, which presumption may be rebutted by showing that it would be detrimental to the child to permit the parent to have custody.

      (P.A. 85-244, S. 2, 3; P.A. 86-224; 86-403, S. 81, 132.)

      History: P.A. 86-224 added provision re grounds for rebuttal of presumption; P.A. 86-403 made technical changes.

      Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582. Cited. 237 C. 233. Cited. 241 C. 767. Statutory presumption rebutted. Trial court required to determine issue of custody on basis of child's best interest without regard to presumption in favor of the parent. 244 C. 403. Court upheld constitutionality of statute but held that the statutory presumption in favor of parental custody may be rebutted only in exceptional circumstances and upon showing that it would be clearly damaging, injurious or harmful for the child to remain in the parent's custody. 285 C. 24. In order to uphold constitutionality of section, court imposed a standing requirement that a third party allege a parent-like relationship with the child for third party custody awards and third parties seeking intervention in existing custody proceedings. Id.

      Cited. 6 CA 707. Cited. 24 CA 402; Id., 426. Cited. 40 CA 675.

      Cited. 44 CS 169.


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      Sec. 46b-56c. Educational support orders. (a) For purposes of this section, an educational support order is an order entered by a court requiring a parent to provide support for a child or children to attend for up to a total of four full academic years an institution of higher education or a private occupational school for the purpose of attaining a bachelor's or other undergraduate degree, or other appropriate vocational instruction. An educational support order may be entered with respect to any child who has not attained twenty-three years of age and shall terminate not later than the date on which the child attains twenty-three years of age.

      (b) (1) On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entry of a decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment, and no educational support order may be entered thereafter unless the decree explicitly provides that a motion or petition for an educational support order may be filed by either parent at a subsequent date. If no educational support order is entered at the time of entry of a decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment, and the parents have a child who has not attained twenty-three years of age, the court shall inform the parents that no educational support order may be entered thereafter. The court may accept a parent's waiver of the right to file a motion or petition for an educational support order upon a finding that the parent fully understands the consequences of such waiver.

      (2) On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entry of an order for support pendente lite pursuant to section 46b-83.

      (3) On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entering an order of support pursuant to section 46b-61 or 46b-171 or similar section of the general statutes, or at any time thereafter.

      (4) On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entering an order pursuant to any other provision of the general statutes authorizing the court to make an order of support for a child, subject to the provisions of sections 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive.

      (c) The court may not enter an educational support order pursuant to this section unless the court finds as a matter of fact that it is more likely than not that the parents would have provided support to the child for higher education or private occupational school if the family were intact. After making such finding, the court, in determining whether to enter an educational support order, shall consider all relevant circumstances, including: (1) The parents' income, assets and other obligations, including obligations to other dependents; (2) the child's need for support to attend an institution of higher education or private occupational school considering the child's assets and the child's ability to earn income; (3) the availability of financial aid from other sources, including grants and loans; (4) the reasonableness of the higher education to be funded considering the child's academic record and the financial resources available; (5) the child's preparation for, aptitude for and commitment to higher education; and (6) evidence, if any, of the institution of higher education or private occupational school the child would attend.

      (d) At the appropriate time, both parents shall participate in, and agree upon, the decision as to which institution of higher education or private occupational school the child will attend. The court may make an order resolving the matter if the parents fail to reach an agreement.

      (e) To qualify for payments due under an educational support order, the child must (1) enroll in an accredited institution of higher education or private occupational school, as defined in section 10a-22a, (2) actively pursue a course of study commensurate with the child's vocational goals that constitutes at least one-half the course load determined by that institution or school to constitute full-time enrollment, (3) maintain good academic standing in accordance with the rules of the institution or school, and (4) make available all academic records to both parents during the term of the order. The order shall be suspended after any academic period during which the child fails to comply with these conditions.

      (f) The educational support order may include support for any necessary educational expense, including room, board, dues, tuition, fees, registration and application costs, but such expenses shall not be more than the amount charged by The University of Connecticut for a full-time in-state student at the time the child for whom educational support is being ordered matriculates, except this limit may be exceeded by agreement of the parents. An educational support order may also include the cost of books and medical insurance for such child.

      (g) The court may direct that payments under an educational support order be made (1) to a parent to be forwarded to the institution of higher education or private occupational school, (2) directly to the institution or school, or (3) otherwise as the court determines to be appropriate.

      (h) On motion or petition of a parent, an educational support order may be modified or enforced in the same manner as is provided by law for any support order.

      (i) This section does not create a right of action by a child for parental support for higher education.

      (j) An educational support order under this section does not include support for graduate or postgraduate education beyond a bachelor's degree.

      (k) The provisions of this section shall apply only in cases when the initial order for parental support of the child is entered on or after October 1, 2002.

      (P.A. 02-128, S. 1.)

      Although trial court failed to make necessary finding that it was more likely than not that parties would have provided support for their daughter's college education had the family remained intact, its failure to comply with section was harmless, given ample evidence in the record to support such a finding, and given plaintiff's failure to meet his burden of demonstrating that court's failure to make the finding was harmful. 96 CA 102. Trial court did not abuse its discretion by issuing financial order that would secure any educational support order that might be entered in future. However, portion of trial court order, that potentially would have required defendant to maintain life insurance to secure support for child who had reached age of majority and who was not beneficiary of an educational support order, reversed and remanded for clarification. 107 CA 279.

      Subsec. (b):

      Subdiv. (1): Use of "shall" means it is mandatory that court inform parents that if no educational support order is entered at the time of dissolution neither party may obtain such an order in future. 86 CA 719.

      Subsec. (h):

      Contrary to plaintiff's claims, because, pursuant to this Subsec. an educational support order may be enforced in same manner as provided by law for any support order, trial court had authority to enforce the order by requiring that security be given, it acted within its discretion and authority in establishing a trust as means of securing the order, and did not abuse its discretion in funding the order with proceeds from sale of Vermont property. 96 CA 102.


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      Sec. 46b-56d. Relocation of parent with minor child. Burden of proof. Factors considered by court. (a) In any proceeding before the Superior Court arising after the entry of a judgment awarding custody of a minor child and involving the relocation of either parent with the child, where such relocation would have a significant impact on an existing parenting plan, the relocating parent shall bear the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that (1) the relocation is for a legitimate purpose, (2) the proposed location is reasonable in light of such purpose, and (3) the relocation is in the best interests of the child.

      (b) In determining whether to approve the relocation of the child under subsection (a) of this section, the court shall consider, but such consideration shall not be limited to: (1) Each parent's reasons for seeking or opposing the relocation; (2) the quality of the relationships between the child and each parent; (3) the impact of the relocation on the quantity and the quality of the child's future contact with the nonrelocating parent; (4) the degree to which the relocating parent's and the child's life may be enhanced economically, emotionally and educationally by the relocation; and (5) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating parent and the child through suitable visitation arrangements.

      (P.A. 06-168, S. 1.)

      No indication legislature intended to apply section to relocation matters resolved at time of initial judgment for dissolution of marriage, which continue to be governed by best interest of child standard in Sec. 46b-56. 113 CA 177.

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      Sec. 46b-57. (Formerly Sec. 46-47). Third party intervention re custody of minor children. Preference of child. In any controversy before the Superior Court as to the custody of minor children, and on any complaint under this chapter or section 46b-1 or 51-348a, if there is any minor child of either or both parties, the court, if it has jurisdiction under the provisions of chapter 815p, may allow any interested third party or parties to intervene upon motion. The court may award full or partial custody, care, education and visitation rights of such child to any such third party upon such conditions and limitations as it deems equitable. Before allowing any such intervention, the court may appoint counsel for the child or children pursuant to the provisions of section 46b-54. In making any order under this section, the court shall be guided by the best interests of the child, giving consideration to the wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capable of forming an intelligent preference.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 17; P.A. 74-169, S. 10, 18; P.A. 78-230, S. 32, 54; 78-318, S. 29; P.A. 03-19, S. 106.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 made minor changes in wording and made appointment of counsel for child or children optional rather than mandatory, substituting "may" for "shall"; P.A. 78-230 restated provisions; P.A. 78-318 qualified court's power to allow third party intervention and to award custody, etc. to third party by adding "if it has jurisdiction under the provisions of chapter 815o"; Sec. 46-47 transferred to Sec. 46b-57 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 03-19 made technical changes, effective May 12, 2003.

      Annotations to former section 46-47:

      Cited. 174 C. 244.

      Cited. 7 CA 720.

      Cited. 33 CS 100.

      Annotations to present section:

      Motion to intervene under statute was barred by absence of controversy; timeliness and "interested third parties" discussed. 185 C. 502. Cited. 193 C. 393. Former intervention not a requirement to a valid order of custody. 196 C. 10. Cited. 235 C. 82. Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582. Cited. 239 C. 336. Cited. 241 C. 767. In order to uphold constitutionality of section, court imposed a standing requirement that a third party allege a parent-like relationship with the child for third party custody awards and third parties seeking intervention in existing custody proceedings. 285 C. 24.

      Cited. 2 CA 132; judgment reversed, see 234 C. 51. Cited. 11 CA 43. Cited. 34 CA 129. Cited. 35 CA 421. Cited. 40 CA 675.

      Cited. 35 CS 237.


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      Sec. 46b-58. (Formerly Sec. 46-58). Custody, maintenance and education of adopted children. The authority of the Superior Court to make and enforce orders and decrees as to the custody, maintenance and education of minor children in any controversy before the court between husband and wife brought under the provisions of this chapter is extended to children adopted by both parties and to any natural child of one of the parties who has been adopted by the other.

      (1963, P.A. 414; P.A. 73-373, S. 31; P.A. 78-230, S. 43, 54.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 made no substantive change; Sec. 46-26a transferred to Sec. 46-58 in 1975; P.A. 78-230 made minor changes in wording and deleted reference to Sec. 46-5h; Sec. 46-58 transferred to Sec. 46b-58 in 1979.

      Annotations to former section 46-26a:

      Unless child is deemed by law to be a child of the marriage of the plaintiff and the defendant, superior court has not jurisdiction over the child. 165 C. 665, 669.

      Annotations to present section:

      Court has no authority to issue an order of support against a husband who was neither the biological or adoptive parent of the child. 180 C. 114. Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582.


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      Sec. 46b-59. Court may grant right of visitation to any person. The Superior Court may grant the right of visitation with respect to any minor child or children to any person, upon an application of such person. Such order shall be according to the court's best judgment upon the facts of the case and subject to such conditions and limitations as it deems equitable, provided the grant of such visitation rights shall not be contingent upon any order of financial support by the court. In making, modifying or terminating such an order, the court shall be guided by the best interest of the child, giving consideration to the wishes of such child if he is of sufficient age and capable of forming an intelligent opinion. Visitation rights granted in accordance with this section shall not be deemed to have created parental rights in the person or persons to whom such visitation rights are granted. The grant of such visitation rights shall not prevent any court of competent jurisdiction from thereafter acting upon the custody of such child, the parental rights with respect to such child or the adoption of such child and any such court may include in its decree an order terminating such visitation rights.

      (P.A. 78-69; P.A. 79-8; P.A. 83-95.)

      History: P.A. 79-8 added proviso specifying that grant of visitation rights is not contingent upon order for financial support; P.A. 83-95 deleted provisions re visitation rights of grandparents and permitted court to grant right of visitation to any person.

      See chapter 815o re Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.

      See Sec. 46b-80 et seq. re support of child and spouse and transfer of property.


      Cited. 208 C. 404. Cited. 209 C. 407. Constitutional validity of section not ripe for adjudication without fact-specific balancing of interests. 214 C. 232. Cited. 217 C. 459. Cited. 234 C. 51. Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582. Trial court lacked jurisdiction to decide issue of visitation. Court discussed provisions of section as they related to provisions of Secs. 46b-56 and 46b-57. 239 C. 336. Implicit in statute is rebuttable presumption that visitation that is opposed by a fit parent is not in child's best interest; for a court to have jurisdiction over petition for visitation contrary to wishes of a parent and to grant such petition, petition must contain specific, good faith allegations that petitioner has a relationship with the child that is similar in nature to a parent-child relationship and specific, good faith allegations that denial of visitation will cause real and significant harm to the child, analogous to the kind of harm contemplated by Secs. 46b-120 and 46b-129, that child is neglected, uncared-for or dependent, and petitioner must prove allegations by clear and convincing evidence; statute is unconstitutional as applied to facts in this case. 259 C. 202. Trial court did not have jurisdiction over petition for visitation pursuant to statute that is contrary to the wishes of a fit parent in the absence of allegations and proof that plaintiff had a parent-like relationship with the child and that the child would suffer real and significant harm if deprived of visitation with plaintiff. Id., 240. Roth v. Weston, 259 C. 202, applies retrospectively. 272 C. 500.

      Cited. 11 CA 43. An encompassing, not limiting, statute. 17 CA 427. Cited. 34 CA 129; judgment reversed, see 234 C. 51. Action for abuse of process under statute does not lie. 52 CA 123. Trial court properly dismissed grandparents' application for visitation with grandchildren due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction as the application contained no specific, good faith allegations as to nature of relationship between the grandparents and grandchildren, and significant harm to grandchildren that would result if the application for visitation were not granted. 103 CA 125.

      Separation of parties in same sex relationship constituted disruption of family unit and conferred standing upon plaintiff noncustodial parent to petition for visitation rights with minor child conceived through artificial insemination who had been jointly raised by coguardian same sex partners. 46 CS 165.


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      Sec. 46b-59a. Mediation of disputes re enforcement of visitation rights. The Office of the Chief Court Administrator may establish programs of mediation for the timely resolution of disputes involving the enforcement of visitation rights.

      (P.A. 86-359, S. 42, 44; 86-403, S. 117, 132.)

      History: P.A. 86-359, S. 42 effective July 1, 1987; P.A. 86-403 substituted "may" for "shall", making establishment of programs discretionary rather than mandatory.

      Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582.

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      Sec. 46b-59b. Court may not grant visitation to parent convicted of murder. Exception. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, no court shall make an order granting the right of visitation to a parent who has been convicted of murder under section 53a-54a, 53a-54b, 53a-54c or 53a-54d, or in any other jurisdiction, of any crime the essential elements of which are substantially the same as any of such crimes, unless the child who is the subject of the visitation order is of sufficient age to signify such child's wishes and such child assents to such order. Until any such visitation order is granted, no person shall visit, with the child present, such parent who has been convicted of murder without the consent of the child's parent, guardian or legal custodian.

      (P.A. 98-81, S. 19, 20; P.A. 01-211, S. 16.)

      History: P.A. 98-81 effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 01-211 made provisions applicable to a parent who has been convicted of the murder of any person, rather than the murder "of the other parent of the child who is the subject of the visitation order", allowed the other parent to consent to a visit by the child and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality.

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      Sec. 46b-60. (Formerly Sec. 46-55). Orders re children and alimony in annulment cases. In connection with any petition for annulment under this chapter, the Superior Court may make such order regarding any child of the marriage and concerning alimony as it might make in an action for dissolution of marriage. The issue of any void or voidable marriage shall be deemed legitimate. Any child born before, on or after October 1, 1976, whose birth occurred prior to the marriage of his parents shall be deemed a child of the marriage.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 24; P.A. 76-265; P.A. 78-230, S. 40, 54.)

      History: P.A. 76-265 specified applicability re children born before, on or after October 1, 1976; P.A. 78-230 changed wording slightly; Sec. 46-55 transferred to Sec. 46b-60 in 1979.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      See chapter 815o re Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.


      Cited. 207 C. 48. Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582.

      Cited. 41 CA 861; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 490.


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      Sec. 46b-61. (Formerly Sec. 46-62). Orders re children where parents live separately. Commencement of proceedings. In all cases in which the parents of a minor child live separately, the superior court for the judicial district where the parties or one of them resides may, on the application of either party and after notice is given to the other party, make any order as to the custody, care, education, visitation and support of any minor child of the parties, subject to the provisions of sections 46b-54, 46b-56, 46b-57 and 46b-66. Proceedings to obtain such orders shall be commenced by service of an application, a summons and an order to show cause.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 19; P.A. 74-169, S. 12, 18; P.A. 78-230, S. 46, 54; 78-280, S. 2, 127; P.A. 99-215, S. 4, 29; P.A. 10-32, S. 139.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 changed wording slightly; P.A. 78-230 deleted reference to "minor children" and to counties; P.A. 78-280 reiterated omission of reference to counties; Sec. 46-62 transferred to Sec. 46b-61 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 99-215 substituted "application" for "complaint" and added "Proceedings to obtain such orders shall be commenced by service of an application, summons and an order to show cause.", effective January 1, 2000; P.A. 10-32 changed "notice given to the other" to "notice is given to the other party", effective May 10, 2010.

      Annotation to former section 46-62:

      Cited. 174 C. 427.

      Annotations to present section:

      Subject matter jurisdiction discussed. 184 C. 558. Statute, read together with Secs. 46b-56 and 46b-93, provides that it is permissible under certain circumstances to award child support even though child is not within jurisdiction. 191 C. 92. Cited. 199 C. 287. Cited. 207 C. 48. Sec. 46b-56 et seq. cited. 236 C. 582.

      Cited. 3 CA 541. Cited. 8 CA 50. Cited. 11 CA 150. Cited. 31 CA 114. Cited. 35 CA 421. Cited. 41 CA 861; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 490. Cited. 44 CA 605.

      Superior court has jurisdiction in custody issues arising from controversies over illegitimate child. 35 CS 237. Cited. 41 CS 429.


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      Sec. 46b-62. (Formerly Sec. 46-59). Orders for payment of attorney's fees in certain actions. In any proceeding seeking relief under the provisions of this chapter and sections 17b-743, 17b-744, 45a-257, 46b-1, 46b-6, 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, 47-14g, 51-348a and 52-362, the court may order either spouse or, if such proceeding concerns the custody, care, education, visitation or support of a minor child, either parent to pay the reasonable attorney's fees of the other in accordance with their respective financial abilities and the criteria set forth in section 46b-82. If, in any proceeding under this chapter and said sections, the court appoints an attorney for a minor child, the court may order the father, mother or an intervening party, individually or in any combination, to pay the reasonable fees of the attorney or may order the payment of the attorney's fees in whole or in part from the estate of the child. If the child is receiving or has received state aid or care, the compensation of the attorney shall be established and paid by the Commission on Child Protection.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 27; P.A. 78-230, S. 44, 54; P.A. 86-264, S. 16; P.A. 88-41; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 54, 75; P.A. 07-159, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 rephrased provisions and deleted reference to Sec. 46-5h; Sec. 46-59 transferred to Sec. 46b-62 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 86-264 eliminated maximum compensation of $100 for attorney if child is or has received state aid or care and added provision that such compensation be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the judicial department; P.A. 88-41 authorized the court to order either parent to pay the reasonable attorney's fees of the other if the proceeding concerns the custody, care, education, visitation or support of a minor child and to order an intervening party individually or in any combination with the father and mother to pay the reasonable fees of an attorney appointed by the court for a minor child; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made a technical change, effective January 1, 1998; P.A. 07-159 replaced provision re reasonable compensation of attorney established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, Judicial Department with provision re compensation of attorney established and paid by Commission on Child Protection, effective July 1, 2007.

      Annotations to former section 46-59:

      Cited. 171 C. 218. Cited. 172 C. 202; Id., 316. Cited. 174 C. 602. Cited. 183 C. 433.

      Annotations to present section:

      Trial court erred in awarding attorney's fees since evidence warranted no award of alimony and that same evidence must be considered for the award of attorney's fees. 180 C. 376. Where, because of other orders, both parties are able financially to pay their own counsel fees trial court erred in ordering payment of counsel fees. 181 C. 492. Cited. Id., 622. Cited. 183 C. 35. Cited. 184 C. 36. A definitive award of counsel fees should not ordinarily be made until after a trial where evidence relating to the criteria set forth in Sec. 46b-82 has been presented. Id., 513. Cited. 185 C. 42; Id., 156; Id., 275. Cited. 186 C. 311. Cited. 188 C. 232. Cited. 189 C. 129. Cited. 190 C. 26; Id., 36. In awarding counsel fees the focus of the inquiry is not on the payor-spouse but rather on the total financial resources of the parties in light of the statutory criteria. Id., 173. Cited. Id., 269; Id., 491. Cited. 191 C. 46; Id., 81. Cited. 193 C. 261. Cited. 194 C. 25; Id., 312. Cited. 207 C. 48. Cited. 210 C. 462. Cited. 211 C. 485; Id., 648. Cited. 218 C. 801. Cited. 222 C. 32. Cited. 225 C. 185. Trial court had authority under this section to award attorney's fees to plaintiff without first finding defendant in contempt; judgment of appellate court in Dobozy v. Dobozy, 41 CA 861, reversed. 241 C. 490. Present case distinguishable from Maguire v. Maguire, 222 C. 32, because here record supports finding that plaintiff either lacked liquid assets to pay attorney fees or such fees would undermine effect of the other financial orders. 245 C. 508. Section does not authorize an award of attorney's fees against grandparents or other third parties petitioning for visitation under Sec. 46b-59. 294 C. 484.

      Cited. 1 CA 158; Id., 400; Id., 686. Cited. 2 CA 141; Id., 425; Id., 472. Cited. 3 CA 25. Cited. 4 CA 504; Id., 645. Cited. 5 CA 95. Cited. 6 CA 632. Cited. 7 CA 41. "Must be construed to permit the award of attorney's fees in child support actions filed on behalf of illegitimate children." 8 CA 50. Cited. 9 CA 486. Cited. 10 CA 22; Id., 466; Id., 570. Language of this section and Sec. 46b-82 does not provide for consideration of status of legal services rendered, whether private or nonprofit, in awarding attorney's fees. 11 CA 150. Cited. Id., 268; Id., 610. Cited. 12 CA 626. Cited. 13 CA 300; Id., 512. Cited. 14 CA 541. Cited. 16 CA 193; Id., 412. Cited. 18 CA 622. Cited. 19 CA 146. Cited. 21 CA 200. Cited. 22 CA 136; Id., 392. Cited. 23 CA 98. Cited. 24 CA 343. Cited. 25 CA 41. Cited. 26 CA 527. Cited. 28 CA 854; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 85. Cited. 30 CA 292; Id., 443. Cited. 31 CA 561; Id., 582; Id., 761. Cited. 32 CA 537; Id., 733. Cited. 34 CA 462; judgment reversed, see 232 C. 750. Cited. 35 CA 246. Cited. 36 CA 305; Id., 322. Cited. 39 CA 162. Cited. 41 CA 716; Id., 861. Cited. 44 CA 605. Cited. 46 CA 87. Court can award attorney's fees for appeal of case it dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 48 CA 645. Trial court properly found that defendant was liable for plaintiff's attorney's fees but improperly awarded a dollar amount for such fees without an appropriate evidentiary showing to determine the reasonableness of such award. 54 CA 634. Trial court's discretion should be guided so that its decision regarding attorney's fees does not undermine its purpose in making any other financial award. 57 CA 165. Trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering plaintiff to pay four thousand dollars in counsel fees to defendant to defend the appeal. 69 CA 146. Reiterated previous holdings that specific finding concerning award of attorney's fees not required if record would support a finding that the party to whom attorney's fees are charged does not have sufficient liquid assets to pay such fees or that failure to award such fees would undermine other financial orders of the court. 79 CA 783. Trial court abused its discretion in awarding plaintiff counsel fees of $100,000 because court could not reasonably have concluded that plaintiff was financially unable able to pay her counsel fees or that the failure to award such fees would undermine court's other financial orders. 82 CA 41. Trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined plaintiff lacked funds to defend appeal and ordered defendant to pay a set fee to plaintiff's attorney. 83 CA 478. Trial court judgment awarding attorney's fees award must be reversed because court's basis for award was improper. 102 CA 1. Trial court improperly decided issue regarding who drafted agreement and therefore award of counsel fees was improper. Id., 96. Although the order for payment of guardian ad litem fees requires consideration of the financial resources of both parties and the criteria set forth in Sec. 46b-82, postdissolution fault is not a factor included among those enumerated in said section, and there is no requirement that the court consider any additional factors or evidence deemed relevant by any of the parties. 107 CA 488. Court did not abuse its discretion when it considered party's litigation misconduct to form part of the basis of an award of attorney's fees for an appeal. 110 CA 798. Court did not abuse its discretion in ordering plaintiff to pay fees and counsel for guardian ad litem because section makes clear the court has power to order payment of reasonable fees regardless of whether there is a written contract or retainer agreement. 117 CA 304.


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      Sec. 46b-63. (Formerly Sec. 46-60). Restoration of birth name or former name of spouse. (a) At the time of entering a decree dissolving a marriage, the court, upon request of either spouse, shall restore the birth name or former name of such spouse.

      (b) At any time after entering a decree dissolving a marriage, the court, upon motion of either spouse, shall modify such judgment and restore the birth name or former name of such spouse.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 14; P.A. 78-101; P.A. 80-48; P.A. 88-364, S. 90, 123.)

      History: P.A. 78-101 rephrased provisions, requiring restoration of wife's birth or former name upon her request where previously restoration of name was dependent upon court's discretion; Sec. 46-60 transferred to Sec. 46b-63 in 1979; P.A. 80-48 added Subsec. (b); P.A. 88-364 substituted "either spouse" or "such spouse" for "the wife".

      See Sec. 45a-99 re concurrent jurisdiction of Probate Court in matters concerning change of name.

      See Secs. 45a-736, 45a-737 re change of name of adopted persons.

      See Sec. 46b-1(6) re jurisdiction of Superior Court concerning complaints for change of name.

      See Sec. 46b-81 re assignment of property and transfer of title at time of decree annulling or dissolving a marriage or for legal separation.

      See Sec. 52-11 re jurisdiction of Superior Court concerning complaints for change of names.


      Cited. 17 CA 627. Fair Housing Act, Sec. 46a-63 et seq. cited. 45 CA 1.

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      Sec. 46b-64. (Formerly Sec. 46-64c). Orders of court prior to return day of complaint. Any provision in this chapter that the court may make any order after the return day of a complaint shall not preclude the court from making such order prior to the return day, upon the filing of a motion and the issuance of an order to show cause, if the court deems it necessary or appropriate.

      (P.A. 75-530, S. 15, 35; P.A. 78-230, S. 50, 54.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 deleted "any" preceding "such order"; Sec. 46-64c transferred to Sec. 46b-64 in 1979.

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      Sec. 46b-65. (Formerly Sec. 46-61). Filing of declaration of resumption of marital relations; dissolution of marriage after legal separation decree when no declaration filed. (a) If the parties to a decree of legal separation at any time resume marital relations and file their written declaration of resumption, signed, acknowledged and witnessed, with the clerk of the superior court for the judicial district in which the separation was decreed, the declaration shall be entered upon the docket, under the entries relating to the complaint, and the decree shall be vacated and the complaint shall be deemed dismissed.

      (b) If no declaration has been filed under subsection (a) of this section, then at any time after the entry of a decree of legal separation, either party may petition the superior court for the judicial district in which the decree was entered for a decree dissolving the marriage and the court shall enter the decree in the presence of the party seeking the dissolution.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 12; P.A. 78-230, S. 45, 54; 78-280, S. 2, 127.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 restated provisions and deleted reference to counties; P.A. 78-280 reiterated omission of reference to counties; Sec. 46-61 transferred to Sec. 46b-65 in 1979.

      Cited. 194 C. 312.

      Cited. 25 CA 210.

      Cited. 44 CS 431.

      Subsec. (b):

      Effect of resumption of marital relations on applicability of statute discussed. 194 C. 312.


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      Sec. 46b-66. (Formerly Sec. 46-49). Review of agreements; incorporation into decree. Arbitration. (a) In any case under this chapter where the parties have submitted to the court an agreement concerning the custody, care, education, visitation, maintenance or support of any of their children or concerning alimony or the disposition of property, the court shall inquire into the financial resources and actual needs of the spouses and their respective fitness to have physical custody of or rights of visitation with any minor child, in order to determine whether the agreement of the spouses is fair and equitable under all the circumstances. If the court finds the agreement fair and equitable, it shall become part of the court file, and if the agreement is in writing, it shall be incorporated by reference into the order or decree of the court. If the court finds the agreement is not fair and equitable, it shall make such orders as to finances and custody as the circumstances require. If the agreement is in writing and provides for the care, education, maintenance or support of a child beyond the age of eighteen, it may also be incorporated or otherwise made a part of any such order and shall be enforceable to the same extent as any other provision of such order or decree, notwithstanding the provisions of section 1-1d.

      (b) Agreements providing for the care, education, maintenance or support of a child beyond the age of eighteen entered into on or after July 1, 2001, shall be modifiable to the same extent as any other provision of any order or decree in accordance with section 46b-86.

      (c) The provisions of chapter 909 shall be applicable to any agreement to arbitrate in an action for dissolution of marriage under this chapter, provided (1) an arbitration pursuant to such agreement may proceed only after the court has made a thorough inquiry and is satisfied that (A) each party entered into such agreement voluntarily and without coercion, and (B) such agreement is fair and equitable under the circumstances, and (2) such agreement and an arbitration pursuant to such agreement shall not include issues related to child support, visitation and custody. An arbitration award in such action shall be confirmed, modified or vacated in accordance with the provisions of chapter 909.

      (1972, P.A. 164, S. 1; P.A. 73-373, S. 18; P.A. 74-169, S. 11, 18; P.A. 77-488, S. 1; P.A. 78-230, S. 34, 54; P.A. 01-135, S. 1, 3; P.A. 05-258, S. 1; P.A. 06-196, S. 171.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 deleted provision which allowed court to continue, modify, set aside, etc. final orders re custody, visitation, etc. "upon a showing of a material change in the circumstances of either party or of their children"; P.A. 74-169 amended section to remove requirement that agreements be written but to specify that, if written, they are to be incorporated by reference in court orders or decrees; P.A. 77-488 added provision re written agreements providing for care, education, etc. of a child beyond the age of 18; P.A. 78-230 restated provisions; Sec. 46-49 transferred to Sec. 46b-66 in 1979; P.A. 01-135 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (b) re modifiable agreements for the care, education, maintenance and support of child beyond the age of 18 entered into on or after July 1, 2001, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 05-258 added Subsec. (c) re arbitration agreement and award; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (c), effective June 7, 2006.

      Annotations to former section 46-49:

      Parties to divorce proceeding may submit to court an agreement concerning education of any of their children and such agreement may be incorporated by reference in order or decree of court. 33 CS 213, 215.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 177 C. 47. Failure of referee to conduct a searching inquiry into acceptability of a divorce settlement does not subject judgment to collateral attack as miscarriage of justice. Id., 173. Operates prospectively, cannot be applied retroactively. Id., 327. Cited. 183 C. 35. Cited. 184 C. 558. Cited. 185 C. 156; Id., 573. Cited. 186 C. 773. Because agreement was concealed from the trial court and was thus contrary to public policy it was void and unenforceable. 187 C. 315. Because, as a result of the agreement, both parties filed misleading and inaccurate financial affidavits, and because trial court should have ordered a new hearing on the financial and property division issues, a new trial was ordered on those issues. Id. Cited. 188 C. 98. Cited. 190 C. 674. Cited. 194 C. 312. Cited. 195 C. 491. Cited. 196 C. 260. Cited. 200 C. 202. Cited. 201 C. 50. Cited. 214 C. 99. Cited. 217 C. 394. Cited. 220 C. 212. Cited. 228 C. 85. Cited. 231 C. 168. Cited. 235 C. 45. Cited. 237 C. 481. Trial court does not have authority to modify an agreement concerning child support that has been incorporated by reference into court decree dissolving a marriage in absence of a written agreement between parties permitting such modification. 262 C. 355. Trial court has jurisdiction over motions for postmajority child support modifications. 266 C. 649.

      Cited. 1 CA 578. Fraudulent nondisclosure discussed. 2 CA 179; Id., 239. Cited. 3 CA 423. Cited. 6 CA 271. Cited. 11 CA 268. Cited. 13 CA 355. Cited. 19 CA 146; Id., 161. Cited. 24 CA 343. Cited. 25 CA 210. Cited. 28 CA 208. Cited. 29 CA 369. Cited. 34 CA 462; judgment reversed, see 232 C. 750; Id., 785; judgment reversed, see 235 C. 45. Cited. 35 CA 421. Cited. 43 CA 575. Trial court lacked jurisdiction to enforce parties' oral stipulation concerning payment of postmajority support because agreement was not reduced to writing as required by statute. 47 CA 354. Court lacks jurisdiction to modify postmajority support where no written agreement to modify. 48 CA 409. Section provides court with jurisdiction to incorporate a separation agreement into its order or decree if upon review it finds the agreement fair and equitable under the circumstances. 60 CA 337. Trial court did not abuse its discretion by incorporating an agreement requiring additional five-year post-judgment payment of life insurance premiums. 83 CA 478. Settlement offer could not be binding agreement without court's independent evaluation of agreement for fairness and equity. 91 CA 579.

      Cited. 35 CS 237. Cited. 44 CS 431. Written agreements for support of adult children may be incorporated by reference into dissolution decree or may be the subject of orders of court and are enforceable through contempt proceedings. 49 CS 238.

      Subsec. (a):

      Specifically grants court authority to incorporate by reference into its judgment of dissolution a fair and equitable separation agreement concerning several enumerated items, including disposition of property, thereby making it an order or decree of the court. 84 CA 415. Without separate evaluation by court to determine whether settlement agreement was fair and equitable, it could not become a settlement agreement as to the parties regarding their marital property, and court was free to distribute the property in a manner it determined was fair and equitable. 91 CA 579.


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      Sec. 46b-66a. Order of court re conveyance of title to real property. Effect of decree. (a) At the time of entering a decree annulling or dissolving a marriage or for legal separation pursuant to a complaint under section 46b-45, the Superior Court may order the husband or wife to convey title to real property to the other party or to a third person.

      (b) When any party is found to have violated an order of the court entered under subsection (a) of this section, the court may, by decree, pass title to the real property to either party or to a third person, without any act by either party, when in the judgment of the court it is the proper action to take.

      (c) When the decree is recorded on the land records in the town where the real property is situated, it shall effect the transfer of the title of such property as if it were a deed of the party or parties.

      (P.A. 86-126.)

      Cited. 36 CA 305.

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      Sec. 46b-67. (Formerly Sec. 46-44). Waiting period. Effect of decree. (a) Following the expiration of ninety days after the day on which a complaint for dissolution or legal separation is made returnable, or after the expiration of six months, where proceedings have been stayed under section 46b-53, the court may proceed on the complaint, or whenever dissolution is claimed under cross complaint, amended complaint or amended cross complaint, the case may be heard and a decree granted thereon after the expiration of the ninety days and twenty days after the cross complaint, amended complaint or amended cross complaint has been filed with the court, provided the requirement of the twenty-day delay shall not apply (1) whenever opposing counsel, having appeared, consents to the cross complaint, amended complaint or amended cross complaint, or (2) where the defendant has not appeared and the amendment does not set forth either a cause of action or a claim for relief not in the original complaint. Nothing in this section shall prevent any interlocutory proceedings within the ninety-day period.

      (b) A decree of annulment or dissolution shall give the parties the status of unmarried persons and they may marry again. A decree of legal separation shall have the effect of a decree dissolving the marriage except that neither party shall be free to marry. Neither the ninety-day period specified in this section nor the six-month period referred to in section 46b-53 shall apply in actions for annulment and the court may proceed on any cause of action for annulment in the manner generally applicable in civil actions.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 7; P.A. 78-230, S. 29, 54; 78-331, S. 50, 58.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 restated provisions, specifying that they are to be effective from October 1, 1978, to December 31, 1978; P.A. 78-331 deleted provision limiting period of applicability; Sec. 46-44 transferred to Sec. 46b-67 in 1979 and references to Sec. 46-41 revised to reflect that section's transfer.

      Statute to be considered on question of alimony is Sec. 46b-82, not this statute. 189 C. 685.

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      Sec. 46b-68. (Formerly Sec. 46-64). Reports to Department of Public Health re dissolutions of marriage and annulments. Section 46b-68 is repealed, effective July 1, 1997.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 28; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 610; P.A. 78-230, S. 48, 54; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-8, S. 87, 88.)

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      Sec. 46b-69. (Formerly Sec. 46-64b). Statutes applicable to matrimonial actions. The provisions of this chapter and sections 17b-743, 17b-744, 45a-257, 46b-1, 46b-6, 47-14g, 51-348a and 52-362 shall apply to all actions for dissolution of marriage, annulment and legal separation filed after May 13, 1974, to all actions for annulment, legal separation or dissolution of marriage commenced prior to said date and to appeals from, and motions for modification of, any alimony, support or custody order entered pursuant to a decree of dissolution of a marriage, divorce, legal separation or annulment rendered prior to said date. The provisions of this chapter and sections 17b-743, 17b-744, 45a-257, 46b-1, 46b-6, 47-14g, 51-348a and 52-362 in effect on October 1, 1973, shall continue to apply to any action for dissolution of marriage, annulment or legal separation in which a decree of the Superior Court has been rendered after October 1, 1973, in which an appeal is pending or in which the date of taking an appeal has not expired on May 13, 1974, except an appeal from any order of alimony or custody. Sections 46-13 to 46-30, inclusive, of the general statutes of Connecticut, revision of 1958, revised to 1972, shall continue to apply to any action for divorce, dissolution of a marriage, annulment or legal separation in which a decree has been rendered and in which an appeal is pending or in which the time for taking an appeal had not expired on October 1, 1973, except an appeal from any order of alimony, support or custody.

      (P.A. 74-169, S. 16, 18; P.A. 78-230, S. 49, 54; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 55, 75.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 deleted references to Sec. 46-5h; Sec. 46-64b transferred to Sec. 46b-69 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made technical changes, effective January 1, 1998.

      Annotations to former section 46-64b:

      Cited. 171 C. 23.

      Under this section the Dissolution of Marriage Act is made applicable to all actions for dissolution of marriage commenced prior to the date of said act and to motions for modification of any alimony awards. 32 CS 92.

      Annotation to present section:

      Cited. 188 C. 385.


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      Sec. 46b-69a. Wage executions and earning assignments. Executions and earning assignments in accordance with section 52-362 shall be available in all actions for dissolution of marriage, annulment and legal separation.

      (P.A. 83-400, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 46b-69b. Parenting education program. (a) The Judicial Department shall establish a parenting education program for parties involved in any action before the Superior Court under section 46b-1, except actions brought under section 46b-15 and chapter 815t. For the purposes of this section, "parenting education program" means a course designed by the Judicial Department to educate persons, including unmarried parents, on the impact on children of the restructuring of families. The course shall include, but not be limited to, information on the developmental stages of children, adjustment of children to parental separation, dispute resolution and conflict management, guidelines for visitation, stress reduction in children and cooperative parenting.

      (b) The court shall order any party to an action specified in subsection (a) of this section to participate in such program whenever a minor child is involved in such action unless (1) the parties agree, subject to the approval of the court, not to participate in such program, (2) the court, on motion, determines that participation is not deemed necessary, or (3) the parties select and participate in a comparable parenting education program. A family support magistrate may order parties involved in any action before the Family Support Magistrate Division to participate in such parenting education program, upon a finding that such participation is necessary and provided both parties are present when such order is issued. No party shall be required to participate in such program more than once. A party shall be deemed to have satisfactorily completed such program upon certification by the service provider of the program.

      (c) The Judicial Department shall, by contract with service providers, make available the parenting education program and shall certify to the court the results of each party's participation in the program.

      (d) Any person who is ordered to participate in a parenting education program shall pay directly to the service provider a participation fee, except that no person may be excluded from such program for inability to pay such fee. Any contract entered into between the Judicial Department and the service provider pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall include a fee schedule and provisions requiring service providers to allow persons who are indigent or unable to pay to participate in such program and shall provide that all costs of such program shall be covered by the revenue generated from participants' fees. The total cost for such program shall not exceed two hundred dollars per person. Such amount shall be indexed annually to reflect the rate of inflation. The program shall not exceed a total of ten hours.

      (e) Any service provider under contract with the Judicial Department pursuant to this section shall provide safety and security for participants in the program, including victims of family violence.

      (P.A. 93-319, S. 1, 4; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 99, 130; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 35, 38; P.A. 02-132, S. 16.)

      History: P.A. 93-319 effective January 1, 1994, and applicable to actions pending on, or filed on or after, that date; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 amended Subsec. (a) by making technical change, effective July 1, 1994; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (a) by adding "including unmarried parents" and amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision that family support magistrates may order parties to participate in parenting education program if participation is necessary and both parties are present, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 02-132 replaced "Family Division" with "Judicial Department" throughout and made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b).

      Statute does not infringe on parents' fundamental right to exercise care, custody and control over their children and, under rational basis review, is rationally related to a legitimate government purpose, that is, the state's legitimate interest in promoting the welfare of children. 289 C. 362.

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      Sec. 46b-69c. Advisory committee. Recommendations to Judicial Department. (a) There is established an advisory committee to (1) make recommendations to the Judicial Department on the development of, and annually thereafter on modifications to, the curriculum for the parenting education program established pursuant to subsection (a) of section 46b-69b, and (2) advise on other matters involving the service providers, including the qualifications and selection of such providers.

      (b) Not later than January 15, 2003, the advisory committee shall make recommendations to the Judicial Department on the expansion of the parenting education program to include a separate program for children whose parents are involved in a dissolution of marriage action. Such program shall be designed to help children cope more effectively with the problems that result from a dissolution and shall have as its goal the prevention or reduction of children's anxiety, aggression, depression and behavioral problems and an increase in social competencies critical to children's postdissolution adjustment.

      (c) The advisory committee shall consist of not more than ten members to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and shall include members who represent the Commission on Children, the family law section of the Connecticut Bar Association, educators specializing in children studies, agencies representing victims of family violence, service providers and the Judicial Department. The members shall serve for terms of two years and may be reappointed for succeeding terms. The members shall elect a chairperson from among their number and shall receive no compensation for their services.

      (d) The Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Department shall provide staff services to the advisory committee.

      (P.A. 93-319, S. 2, 4; P.A. 02-132, S. 17, 81.)

      History: P.A. 93-319 effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 02-132 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), added new Subsec. (b) re recommendations for program for children and redesignated existing Subsecs. (b) and (c) as Subsecs. (c) and (d), effective July 1, 2002, and made a technical change in redesignated Subsec. (c) and replaced "Family Division" with "Court Support Services Division" in redesignated Subsec. (d), effective October 1, 2002.

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PART II*
ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN MATRIMONIAL JUDGMENTS

      *Enforcement of child support arrearage judgment, res judicata and special appearance to contest jurisdiction discussed. 191 C. 92. Cited. 203 C. 380.

      Cited. 1 CA 578. Secs. 46b-70-46b-75 cited. 30 CA 821. Sec. 46b-70 et seq. cited. 33 CA 417.

      Sec. 46b-70 et seq. cited. 41 CS 429.


      Sec. 46b-70. Foreign matrimonial judgment defined. As used in sections 46b-70 to 46b-75, inclusive, "foreign matrimonial judgment" means any judgment, decree or order of a court of any state in the United States in an action for divorce, legal separation, annulment or dissolution of marriage, for the custody, care, education, visitation, maintenance or support of children or for alimony, support or the disposition of property of the parties to an existing or terminated marriage, in which both parties have entered an appearance.

      (P.A. 77-428, S. 1.)

      Cited. 191 C. 92.

      Cited. 1 CA 578. Cited. 3 CA 679. Cited. 6 CA 541. Cited. 30 CA 821. Cited. 33 CA 417. Cited. 42 CA 747. Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under statute to modify a foreign matrimonial judgment obtained against defendant by default. 48 CA 645.

      Cited. 39 CS 66. Cited. 41 CS 429.


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      Sec. 46b-71. Filing of foreign matrimonial judgment; enforcement in this state. (a) Any party to an action in which a foreign matrimonial judgment has been rendered, shall file, with a certified copy of the foreign matrimonial judgment, in the court in this state in which enforcement of such judgment is sought, a certification that such judgment is final, has not been modified, altered, amended, set aside or vacated and that the enforcement of such judgment has not been stayed or suspended, and such certificate shall set forth the full name and last-known address of the other party to such judgment and the name and address of the court in the foreign state which rendered such judgment.

      (b) Such foreign matrimonial judgment shall become a judgment of the court of this state where it is filed and shall be enforced and otherwise treated in the same manner as a judgment of a court in this state; provided such foreign matrimonial judgment does not contravene the public policy of the state of Connecticut. A foreign matrimonial judgment so filed shall have the same effect and may be enforced or satisfied in the same manner as any like judgment of a court of this state and is subject to the same procedures for modifying, altering, amending, vacating, setting aside, staying or suspending said judgment as a judgment of a court of this state; provided, in modifying, altering, amending, setting aside, vacating, staying or suspending any such foreign matrimonial judgment in this state the substantive law of the foreign jurisdiction shall be controlling.

      (P.A. 77-428, S. 2; P.A. 89-3.)

      History: P.A. 89-3 amended Subsec. (a) to require the certificate to set forth the name and address of the court in the foreign state which rendered the judgment.

      Cited. 189 C. 129. Cited. 191 C. 92.

      Cited. 1 CA 578. Cited. 6 CA 541. Cited. 17 CA 544. Cited. 33 CA 417. Cited. 35 CA 246.

      Construction of this section that would confer the same personal jurisdiction of decree-rendering state upon Connecticut courts would violate fundamental due process and the minimum contacts standards. 41 CS 429.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 30 CA 821.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 30 CA 821. When modifying foreign matrimonial judgment, Connecticut trial court's failure to apply substantive law of the foreign jurisdiction constitutes plain error. 47 CA 146.


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      Sec. 46b-72. Notification of filing. Within five days after the filing of such judgment and certificate, the party filing such judgment shall notify the other party of the filing of such foreign matrimonial judgment by registered mail at his last-known address or by personal service. Execution shall not issue on any such foreign matrimonial judgment for a period of twenty days from the filing thereof and no steps shall be taken to enforce such judgment until proof of service has been filed with the court.

      (P.A. 77-428, S. 3.)

      Cited. 191 C. 92.

      Cited. 6 CA 541.


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      Sec. 46b-73. Stay of enforcement; modifications; hearing. (a) If either party files an affidavit with the court that an appeal from the foreign matrimonial judgment is pending in the foreign state, or will be taken, or that a stay of execution has been granted, the court shall stay enforcement of the foreign matrimonial judgment until the appeal is concluded, the time for appeal expires or the stay of execution expires or is vacated.

      (b) If a party files an affidavit with the court that such foreign matrimonial judgment has been modified, altered or amended, the court shall enforce such foreign matrimonial judgment as modified, altered or amended.

      (c) Upon motion made to the court of this state in which the foreign matrimonial judgment has been filed, either party shall be entitled to a hearing on any disputed issue of fact or law concerning the enforceability of said judgment in this state, including any challenge to the jurisdiction of the court which rendered such foreign matrimonial judgment.

      (P.A. 77-428, S. 4.)

      Cited. 191 C. 92.

      Cited. 6 CA 541.


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      Sec. 46b-74. Right to action on judgment unimpaired. The right of a party to a foreign matrimonial judgment to proceed by an action on the judgment instead of proceeding under sections 46b-70 to 46b-75, inclusive, remains unimpaired.

      (P.A. 77-428, S. 5.)

      Cited. 191 C. 92.

      Cited. 6 CA 541.


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      Sec. 46b-75. Uniformity of interpretation. Sections 46b-70 to 46b-75, inclusive, shall be so construed as to effectuate their general purpose to make uniform the laws of those states which enact them.

      (P.A. 77-428, S. 6.)

      Cited. 191 C. 92.

      Cited. 6 CA 541.


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      Secs. 46b-76 to 46b-79. Reserved for future use.

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PART III*
SUPPORT OF CHILD AND SPOUSE.
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY

      *Cited. 20 CA 500. Cited. 26 CA 737.

      Sec. 46b-80. (Formerly Sec. 46-38). Prejudgment remedies available; lis pendens; notice; effect. (a) The following procedures shall be available to secure the financial interests of either spouse in connection with any complaint under section 46b-45 or 46b-56 or any application under section 46b-61, including, but not limited to, present and future financial interests in connection with an order for alimony or support pendente lite or other order for periodic payments: (1) Any remedy afforded by chapter 903a concerning prejudgment remedies, whether or not a money demand is made in such complaint or application; and (2) at any time after the service of such a complaint or application, if either party claims an interest in real property in which the other party has an interest, either spouse may cause a notice of lis pendens to be recorded in the office of the town clerk of each town in which is located real property in which the other spouse has an interest. The notice shall contain the names of the spouses, the nature of the complaint or application, the court having jurisdiction, the date of the complaint or application and a description of the real property. Such notice shall, from the time of the recording only, be notice to any person thereafter acquiring any interest in such property of the pendency of the complaint or application. Each person whose conveyance or encumbrance is subsequently executed or subsequently recorded or whose interest is thereafter obtained by descent, or otherwise, shall be deemed to be a subsequent purchaser or encumbrancer, and shall be bound by all proceedings taken after the recording of such notice, to the same extent as if he were made a party to the complaint or application. A notice of lis pendens recorded in accordance with this section may be discharged by the court upon substitution of a bond with surety in an amount established by the court if the court finds that the claim of the spouse against property subject to the notice of lis pendens can be satisfied by money damages.

      (b) All notices of lis pendens recorded pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of section 52-325 and sections 52-325a to 52-325c, inclusive.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 5; P.A. 74-169, S. 4, 18; P.A. 77-392; P.A. 78-230, S. 23, 54; P.A. 81-8, S. 5, 9; P.A. 99-215, S. 5, 29; P.A. 03-130, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 rephrased provisions, replacing former detailed provisions in Subdiv. (1) re procedure for attachment of other party's estate by court order with reference to "any remedy ... concerning prejudgment remedies" and specifically applying Subdiv. (2) to claims of interest in real property; P.A. 77-392 specified that Subdiv. (1) remedies apply "whether or not a money demand is made ..." and added proviso in Subdiv. (2) re discharge of notice of lis pendens upon substitution of bond with surety; P.A. 78-230 made minor changes in wording; Sec. 46-38 transferred to Sec. 46b-80 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 81-8 added Subsec. (b) providing that notices of lis pendens shall be subject to the provisions of Sec. 52-325(c) and Secs. 52-325a to 52-325c, inclusive; P.A. 99-215 amended Subsec. (a) by adding "any application under section" and "or application" after "complaint", effective January 1, 2000; P.A. 03-130 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re present and future financial interests in connection with order for alimony or support pendente lite or other order for periodic payments and made a technical change in Subsec. (b).

      Cited. 217 C. 24.

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      Sec. 46b-81. (Formerly Sec. 46-51). Assignment of property and transfer of title. (a) At the time of entering a decree annulling or dissolving a marriage or for legal separation pursuant to a complaint under section 46b-45, the Superior Court may assign to either the husband or wife all or any part of the estate of the other. The court may pass title to real property to either party or to a third person or may order the sale of such real property, without any act by either the husband or the wife, when in the judgment of the court it is the proper mode to carry the decree into effect.

      (b) A conveyance made pursuant to the decree shall vest title in the purchaser, and shall bind all persons entitled to life estates and remainder interests in the same manner as a sale ordered by the court pursuant to the provisions of section 52-500. When the decree is recorded on the land records in the town where the real property is situated, it shall effect the transfer of the title of such real property as if it were a deed of the party or parties.

      (c) In fixing the nature and value of the property, if any, to be assigned, the court, after hearing the witnesses, if any, of each party, except as provided in subsection (a) of section 46b-51, shall consider the length of the marriage, the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. The court shall also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 20; P.A. 75-331; P.A. 78-230, S. 36, 54.)

      History: P.A. 75-331 authorized court to pass title to real property to either party or a third person or to order sale of property and added provisions relating to transfer or sale of property; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and changed wording slightly; Sec. 46-51 transferred to Sec. 46b-81 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction of payments under support order to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      Annotations to former section 46-51:

      Court has broad discretion in awarding alimony. 163 C. 345. Imposition of a duty of support pendente lite only on a husband not unconstitutional as a form of sex discrimination. 165 C. 190. Based on common-law principle of husband's duty to support wife and on the legislature's concept of family relationships. Id. Sec. 46-21 is very broad and gives the court wide discretion. Id., 777, 784. Cited. 166 C. 380. Cited. 168 C. 579; Id., 619. Cited. 171 C. 23, 28; Id., 278. Cited. 172 C. 269; Id., 316; Id., 361. Cited. 173 C. 397. Court has authority to assign husband's interest in marital home to wife despite wife's failure to specifically claim such interest. 174 C. 1. Cited. Id., 361; Id., 602. Cited. 176 C. 222. Cited. 178 C. 212. Cited. 179 C. 213. Discussion of ante nuptial agreements relating to property rights upon dissolution of the marriage. 181 C. 482. Cited. 183 C. 433.

      Alimony award after judgment invalid. 29 CS 507. Alimony for women only. 30 CS 111. Social custom of woman to change name upon marriage, recognized. Id., 385. Assignment of property. 33 CS 44, 46.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 177 C. 465. Cited. 178 C. 308; Id., 377. Cited. 179 C. 174; Id., 568; Id., 622. Since the "estate" of the parties comprehends the aggregate of the property and liabilities of the parties, trial court did not abuse its discretion in assigning to defendant sole responsibility for the parties' joint liabilities. 180 C. 184. The fault of a party in causing a marital dissolution is material to the issue of an assignment of property. Id., 212. Portion of dissolution judgment which gave wife option to purchase husband's interest in jointly owned home was an assignment of property and not subject to modification. Id., 285. Court is not required to give equal weight to each of the specified items it considers when assigning property. Id., 528. Court improperly delegated its judicial power by directing the family relations division to divide parties' personal property in the event of their inability to do so. Id., 532. Assignment of property in a marital dissolution rests in the sound discretion of the court. Id., 533. Cited. Id., 705. Cited. 181 C. 492; Id., 622. Cited. 183 C. 35. Trial court's transfer of out-of-state realty discussed. Id., 490. Cited. Id., 512. Cited. 184 C. 406. Cited. 185 C. 141; Id., 156; Id., 275; Id., 491. Cited. 186 C. 167; Id., 191; Id., 211; Id., 709. Cited. 187 C. 70; Id., 249. Cited. 188 C. 232; Id., 385; Id., 736. Cited. 190 C. 173; Id., 491; Id., 657; Id., 813. Cited. 191 C. 468. Cited. 197 C. 1. "... award to defendant of a share of plaintiff's expectancy cannot be sustained as a permissible transfer of property" under statute; judgment of appellate court reversed. 204 C. 224. Cited. 207 C. 217. Cited. 211 C. 485. Cited. 213 C. 686. Cited. 214 C. 713. Cited. 218 C. 801. Cited. 220 C. 372. Cited. 221 C. 698. Cited. 222 C. 32. Cited. 224 C. 776. Cited. 226 C. 219. Order to pay mortgage installments and taxes was intended by trial court to constitute a division of property. Judgment of appellate court in Passamano v. Passamano, 28 CA 854, reversed. 228 C. 85. Judgment of appellate court in Krafick v. Krafick, 34 CA 930, reversed and case remanded to trial court to assign appropriate valuation to pension benefits and reconsider its financial orders. 234 C. 783. Court need not make explicit references to statutory criteria it considered in its decision resolving property and alimony disputes in a dissolution of marriage action; judgment of appellate court in Coffe v. Coffe, 40 CA 178, reversed, see 240 C. 79. Advanced degree (medical degree) is not property subject to distribution upon dissolution of marriage but is properly classified as an expectancy rather than as presently existing property interest. Definition of "property" discussed. 244 C. 158. Based on the evidence, unvested stock options were properly distributed as property under section. 245 C. 508. In accord with prior cases, in distributing property in dissolution proceeding, court must consider all statutory criteria, and no single criterion is preferred over others, but court has latitude to vary weight placed on each item. Id. Right to purchase contents of defendant's rented apartment was properly subject to distribution under section. Id. Date of dissolution of marriage is date on which to value the parties' assets in accordance with prior cases. Id. Plaintiff's personal injury award is a property interest subject to equitable distribution under the statute. 247 C. 356. Unvested pension benefits are property subject to equitable distribution, which court may value on a case-by-case basis among the present value method, the present division method of deferred distribution, and any other valuation method that it deems appropriate in accordance with Connecticut law. 258 C. 733. Trial court did not abuse its discretion by including in the marital property estate the entire amount received by defendant in an employment case. 265 C. 669. For purposes of determining an equitable distribution of property, the court may consider evidence that a spouse dissipated marital assets prior to the couple's physical separation as long as the actions constituting dissipation occur either in contemplation of divorce or separation, or while the marriage is in serious jeopardy or is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. 287 C. 491. The portion of defendant's state employment retirement benefit under Sec. 5-192p attributable to actual years of service is distributable, while the portion attributable to the additional amount received as a consequence of being disabled is not distributable. 292 C. 597.

      Cited. 1 CA 158; Id., 604. Cited. 2 CA 179; Id., 425; Id., 635. Cited. 3 CA 249. Cited. 4 CA 275; Id., 575; Id., 611; Id., 663. Cited. 5 CA 198. Cited. 6 CA 143; Id., 471; Id., 632. Cited. 8 CA 356. Cited 9 CA 240; Id., 432. Cited. 11 CA 195; Id., 369; Id., 610; Id., 653. Cited. 12 CA 525. Cited. 13 CA 185; Id., 270; Id., 300; Id., 651. Cited. 14 CA 195; Id., 296; Id., 541. Cited. 15 CA 292. Cited. 16 CA 193; Id., 412; Id., 680. Cited. 17 CA 480. Cited. 18 CA 166; Id., 333; Id., 622. Cited. 19 CA 65. Cited. 20 CA 812. Cited. 22 CA 136; Id., 248; Id., 337; Id., 392; Id., 410; Id., 806. Cited. 23 CA 330. Cited. 24 CA 509. Cited. 25 CA 41; Id., 595. Cited. 26 CA 527. Cited. 27 CA 364. Cited. 28 CA 208; Id., 854; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 85. Cited. 30 CA 292; Id., 443; Id., 560. Cited. 31 CA 736. Cited. 32 CA 152; Id., 465; Id., 537. Cited. 33 CA 214; Id., 536. Cited. 34 CA 328; Id., 641; Id., 785; judgment reversed, see 235 C. 45. Cited. 36 CA 305. Cited. 37 CA 397. Cited. 39 CA 57. Cited. 40 CA 178; judgment reversed, see 240 C. 79; Id., 533; Id., 562; Id., 697. Cited. 41 CA 716; Id., 728; Id., 861. In determining parties' relative contributions within meaning of statute, court should consider nonmonetary as well as monetary contributions. Court not required to make explicit reference to statutory criteria considered in arriving at decision or to make express findings as to each statutory factor. 48 CA 732. Court has authority to order distribution of property even if neither party requested such order in its prayer for relief. 54 CA 304. Personal injury award in name of both spouses is a property interest within meaning of "property" under section. 57 CA 165. Section authorizes one party to assume joint liabilities of the parties. Id. Although court must consider all statutory criteria when determining appropriate property distribution, it need not give equal weight to or explicitly address each factor. 59 CA 167. Stock options taken as incentive for future services to be performed after final separation not a marital asset. Id., 452. Reaffirmed previous holdings that date of separation may be significant in determining value of assets at date of dissolution. Id., 656. No presumption under Connecticut Constitution Art. I, Sec. 20 (ERA) that property be equally divided between the spouses. Id. Section provides court with jurisdiction to divide the parties' property. 60 CA 337. Court properly classified defendant's business and share bank accounts as "property". 61 CA 791. Court not required to assign a present value to defendant's pension before distributing it. 69 CA 472. Not error for court to award plaintiff a portion of defendant's retirement benefits. Id., 482. Although court has jurisdiction to assign property in connection with this section, that assignment is not modifiable. 70 CA 212. Court does not have continuing jurisdiction over property distributed at the time of dissolution. Id., 772. Pension benefits subject to equitable distribution. 74 CA 120. Assignment of property may only be made at the time of the marital dissolution and is not thereafter subject to modification as are periodic orders. 77 CA 9. Statute authorizes court to issue orders respecting marital property only at the time of dissolution; it does not authorize postjudgment orders for the division of marital property. 79 CA 812. Financial orders cannot be logically inconsistent with factual findings. 82 CA 378. Court did not abuse discretion by awarding plaintiff a portion of stock that vested in defendant after the date of separation. 83 CA 53. Trial court's order requiring sale of marital home and barring parties from purchasing the home was equitable and did not exceed court's statutory authority under section. 84 CA 495. Trial court's order allowing defendant up to fifteen years to pay plaintiff for his share of the marital residence was not abuse of discretion or violation of statutory considerations. 92 CA 678. Trial court properly determined plaintiff did not own the inventory in his antiques business. 102 CA 74. Court did not improperly rely on section in dividing the net partition proceeds. 108 CA 184. Nothing in section prohibits court from mending its erroneous personal property orders. 119 CA 120. Although the court has leeway in determining value of assets in a marital dissolution, a market value approach to valuation, nevertheless, necessarily requires an examination of marketability of the asset being appraised. 121 CA 659. It was within the court's authority to order defendant to repay loans and promissory notes made to the plaintiff during course of their marriage and to award interest on any wrongfully withheld moneys. 123 CA 146.

      Unliquidated personal injury action is subject to award under this section. 41 CS 115. Cited. 43 CS 400. Cited. 44 CS 431.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 181 C. 248. Cited. 216 C. 673. Cited. 236 C. 582.

      Cited. 3 CA 25. Cited. 17 CA 431. Cited. 18 CA 589. Cited. 39 CA 162. Cited. 46 CA 87. Principal payments defendant received on purchase money mortgage he held on real estate awarded to him pursuant to dissolution decree is merely an exchange of assets and may not be included in calculation of his income in postdissolution modification proceeding. 53 CA 378. Court rendering a dissolution judgment may order one party to assume joint liabilities of both parties. 57 CA 807. Court was within its discretion, as part of the overall equitable distribution of assets, to divide defendant's 401(k) equally between the parties even if part of it had accrued prior to the marriage. 97 CA 122. Trial court's award of marital residence and 100% of equity in the residence to plaintiff wife did not constitute abuse of discretion where defendant husband was not ordered to pay alimony and retained his pensions free from any claim of the plaintiff wife. 101 CA 106.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 185 C. 180.

      Ascribing a current value to the home, in combination with an order to sell the home, is neither absurd nor prohibited by section. 99 CA 145.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 183 C. 96. Cited. 184 C. 36; Id., 513. Cited. 186 C. 311; Id., 709; Id., 773. Cited. 187 C. 142; Id., 144. Cited. 189 C. 570. Cited. 190 C. 126. Cited. 197 C. 1. Cited. 206 C. 150. Cited. 210 C. 170. Cited. 231 C. 168. Cited. 236 C. 582. Appellate court's conclusion that trial court improperly relied on total length of parties' relationship in crafting its financial orders was supported by record; under this Subsec. and Sec. 46b-82(a), a court shall consider length of parties' marriage, which does not include prior marriages or cohabitation preceding marriage. 280 C. 632. "Dissipation" is the antithesis of "preservation", and a party that dissipates assets detracts from the preservation of those assets, and a trial court has the authority to consider a spouse's dissipation of marital assets when determining the nature and value of property to be assigned to each respective spouse. 287 C. 491.

      Cited. 2 CA 416. Cited. 3 CA 25; Id., 704. Cited. 4 CA 504. Cited. 5 CA 185; Id., 484; Id., 681. Cited. 7 CA 41; Id., 119. Cited. 12 CA 596. "Contemplates nonmonetary as well as monetary contributions." 13 CA 300. Cited. 15 CA 318. Cited. 17 CA 431. Cited. 20 CA 145. Cited. 22 CA 310. Cited. 23 CA 111; Id., 287. Cited. 25 CA 693. Cited. 26 CA 386; Id., 720. Cited. 39 CA 162. Court must consider all statutory criteria but is free to accord whatever weight it determines appropriate to each statutory factor. 86 CA 665. Prior marriage and cohabitation between parties before their remarriage to each other are not to be included when calculating "length of the marriage" in remarriage divorce proceedings. 93 CA 618. Although court must consider all statutory criteria in dividing property in a dissolution action, it does not need to make an express finding as to each criterion. 97 CA 122. Defendant's annual bonus constituted an "amount and source of income" that court should have considered when determining division of marital property and awarding alimony and child support, and matter should be remanded for recalculation of all awards even though child support award was calculated correctly. 98 CA 706. There is no language of presumption in statute that marital property should be divided equally prior to applying statutory criteria. 99 CA 326.

      In dissolution of marriage case, in which plaintiff wife sought greater share in distribution of $25,840 in cash wedding gifts on basis that bride's side had more family and friends in attendance than groom's side, and where there was insufficient evidence of donor's intent, court adopted New York rule for classifying wedding gifts established in Avnet v. Avnet that where there is inadequate evidence of donor's intent, wedding gift is intended as a joint gift unless the gift is appropriate for the use of only one spouse or is earmarked for one particular spouse and because Connecticut is an all property state money received at wedding is "marital property" within meaning of statute, regardless of the donor. 50 CS 11.


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      Sec. 46b-82. (Formerly Sec. 46-52). Alimony. (a) At the time of entering the decree, the Superior Court may order either of the parties to pay alimony to the other, in addition to or in lieu of an award pursuant to section 46b-81. The order may direct that security be given therefor on such terms as the court may deem desirable, including an order pursuant to subsection (b) of this section or an order to either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party. The court may order that a party obtain life insurance as such security unless such party proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that such insurance is not available to such party, such party is unable to pay the cost of such insurance or such party is uninsurable. In determining whether alimony shall be awarded, and the duration and amount of the award, the court shall hear the witnesses, if any, of each party, except as provided in subsection (a) of section 46b-51, shall consider the length of the marriage, the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of each of the parties and the award, if any, which the court may make pursuant to section 46b-81, and, in the case of a parent to whom the custody of minor children has been awarded, the desirability of such parent's securing employment.

      (b) Any postjudgment procedure afforded by chapter 906 shall be available to secure the present and future financial interests of a party in connection with a final order for the periodic payment of alimony.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 21; P.A. 78-230, S. 37, 54; P.A. 83-527, S. 1; P.A. 03-130, S. 3; 03-202, S. 23.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 restated provisions; Sec. 46-52 transferred to Sec. 46b-82 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 83-527 added provision that court may order either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party; P.A. 03-130 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a), adding provision re order pursuant to Subsec. (b) therein, and added Subsec. (b) re availability of postjudgment procedure; P.A. 03-202 added provision re order to obtain life insurance as security.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      See Sec. 17b-744 re discontinuance of such support payments to Commissioner of Administrative Services.


      Annotations to former section 46-52:

      Cited. 171 C. 23; Id., 219; Id., 278. Established judicial standards of review of awards of alimony developed under Sec. 46-21 apply to review of awards made under this section. Trial court is guided in exercise of discretion by listing in this section of factors to be considered in awarding alimony. Id., 313. Cited. 172 C. 192. Wife's earning potential is important factor to be considered in awarding alimony. Id., 202. Cited. Id., 269; Id., 316; Id., 361. Cited. 173 C. 397. Cited. 174 C. 1; Id., 279; Id., 602. Cited. 176 C. 222. Cited. 178 C. 377. Discussion ante nuptial agreements relating to property rights upon dissolution of the marriage. 181 C. 482. Cited. 183 C. 433.

      Alimony. 33 CS 44.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 177 C. 465. Cited. 178 C. 308. Cited. 179 C. 174; Id., 568; Id., 622. Alimony award based on demonstrated earning capacity is appropriate especially where defendant has wilfully depleted his earnings. 180 C. 184. The same criteria which determine initial alimony award are relevant to the question of modification. Id., 218. Cited. Id., 376. There is no absolute right to alimony. Id., 528. Court is not required to give equal weight to each of the specified items it considers in determining an award. Id., 530. Cited. Id., 705. Cited. 181 C. 145. Cited. 182 C. 19. Cited. 183 C. 35; Id., 96; Id., 253; Id., 512. Cited. 184 C. 36; Id., 406; Id., 513. Cited. 185 C. 7; Id., 42; Id., 141; Id., 156; Id., 275; Id., 491; Id., 573. Cited. 186 C. 167; Id., 191; Id., 311; Id., 709; Id., 773. Cited. 187 C. 249. Cited. 188 C. 98; Id., 232; Id., 354; Id., 385; Id., 736. Cited. 189 C. 129. Award of alimony under the statute is not contingent upon a specific request. Id., 685. Cited. 190 C. 26; Id., 36; Id., 126; Id., 173; Id., 269; Id., 491; Id., 657. Cited. 191 C. 46; Id., 81. Cited. 193 C. 261. Cited. 194 C. 25; Id., 312. Cited. 197 C. 1. Contingent order could not be sustained as an award of alimony under this statute or as assignment of property under Sec. 46b-81. Judgment of appellate court reversed. 204 C. 224. Cited. 207 C. 217. Cited. 210 C. 170. Cited. 211 C. 485. Cited. 213 C. 686. Cited. 214 C. 713. Cited. 216 C. 673. Cited. 218 C. 801. Cited. 220 C. 372. Cited. 221 C. 698. Cited. 222 C. 32. Cited. 225 C. 185. Cited. 228 C. 85; Id., 729. Cited. 231 C. 168. Cited. 234 C. 783. Judgment of appellate court in Tremaine v. Tremaine, 34 CA 785, reversed with respect to its affirming the decision of trial court that the trust constitutes an asset of defendant for purpose of determining alimony. 235 C. 45. Doctrine of res judicata does not require all issues between spouses to be litigated in the dissolution proceeding. 236 C. 582. Cited. 240 C. 35. Court need not make explicit references to statutory criteria it considered in its decision resolving property and alimony disputes in dissolution of marriage action; judgment of appellate court in Coffe v. Coffe, 40 CA 178 et seq., reversed. Id., 79. Standard for rehabilitative alimony discussed. 245 C. 506. Dual alimony orders are permitted and are not required to contain identical terms or conditions. 249 C. 265. As part of a nonexhaustive list, "needs of each of the parties" includes a party's need to travel in order to visit the party's children. Id. Payments made regularly and consistently to a former spouse are to be considered by trial court in setting financial orders. There is no legal distinction between how to treat income between former spouse who pays support and former spouse who receives support. 262 C. 360. Capital gains not income for purposes of modification of alimony if gains are not a steady stream of income, but changes in value may be taken into consideration in considering a modification. 266 C. 641. Change in value of an asset awarded at time of dissolution may be considered when modifying an alimony award. 283 C. 494. Failure to consider amount and sources of plaintiff's income and needs constitutes an abuse of discretion under the statute. Id.

      Cited. 1 CA 158; Id., 172; Id., 400; Id., 604; Id., 686. Cited. 2 CA 14; Id., 141; Id., 179; Id., 416; Id., 425; Id., 472. Criteria to be considered for alimony awards do not include impracticability of the collection of alimony. Id., 590. Cited. 3 CA 25; Id., 679. Cited. 4 CA 489; Id., 575; Id., 611. Cited. 5 CA 67; Id., 95; Id., 185; Id., 484. Cited. 6 CA 471; Id., 632. Cited. 7 CA 41. Cited. 8 CA 50; Id., 76. Cited. 9 CA 432; Id., 486; Id., 498. Cited. 10 CA 466; Id., 570. Language of this section and Sec. 46b-62 does not provide for consideration of status of legal services rendered, whether private or nonprofit, in awarding attorney's fees. 11 CA 150. Cited. Id., 195; Id., 268; Id., 463; Id., 610; Id., 653. Cited 12 CA 525; Id., 596; Id., 626. Cited. 13 CA 129; Id., 185; Id., 270; Id., 300; Id., 512; Id., 651. Cited. 14 CA 541. Cited. 15 CA 292; Id., 318. Cited. 16 CA 193; Id., 412; Id., 680. Cited. 17 CA 480. Cited. 18 CA 166; Id., 622. Cited. 19 CA 146. Cited. 20 CA 500; Id., 551; Id., 609. Cited. 21 CA 200. Cited. 22 CA 136; Id., 248; Id., 337; Id., 392. Cited. 23 CA 98; Id., 111; Id., 330. Cited. 24 CA 307; Id., 343; Id., 509. Cited. 25 CA 41; Id., 555; Id., 595. Cited. 26 CA 386; Id., 527; Id., 720; Id., 737. Cited. 27 CA 364; Id., 396. Cited. 28 CA 208; Id., 483; Id., 854; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 85. Cited. 30 CA 292; Id., 443; Id., 560. Cited. 31 CA 561; Id., 582; Id., 736. Cited. 32 CA 152; Id., 537; Id., 733. Cited. 33 CA 536. Cited. 34 CA 328; Id., 462; judgment reversed, see 232 C. 750; Id., 641; Id., 785; judgment reversed, see 235 C. 45. Cited. 35 CA 228; Id., 246. Cited. 36 CA 305. Cited. 39 CA 162. Cited. 40 CA 178; judgment reversed, see 240 C. 79. Cited. 41 CA 716. Cited. 43 CA 508. Cited. 44 CA 605. Cited. 46 CA 87. Life insurance is not a necessary form of security to assure payment of periodic alimony. 51 CA 530. Court order limiting duration of alimony payments to ten years held not improper. 54 CA 304. Trial court may exercise broad discretion in awarding alimony. 57 CA 165. Plaintiff cannot succeed in claim that he is entitled to immediate appellate review of denial of his motion to dismiss on the proposition that section deprives any trial court of subject matter jurisdiction over a request for postjudgment alimony absent finding of a substantial change in circumstances where plaintiff's argument of lack of statutory jurisdiction does not support claim of lack of subject matter jurisdiction and appeal does not pass the State v. Curcio test. 61 CA 112. If party asserts health an issue in claim for alimony and is receiving Social Security disability benefits, such assertion can be refuted by introduction of evidence relevant to health. 66 CA 16. Court unable to discern whether contributions from parents were gifts or loans regarding motion to modify alimony and child support awards. 69 CA 251. Court not required to reference expressly the statutory criteria it considered in awarding alimony. Id., 472. Capital gains generated by an asset distributed in dissolution decree do not fall within purview of section. 70 CA 772. If an asset is property acquired by plaintiff after the dissolution, and, therefore, not distributed as part of the property assignment, then it is income that must be considered by court in an alimony modification. Id. Capital gains tax realized on sale of asset acquired after dissolution may be considered by court in determining whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Id. Appreciation of an asset that was distributed at time of dissolution does not constitute a change in circumstances that court may consider when deciding whether to entertain a motion for modification of alimony. Id. In considering "amount and sources of income", court cannot ignore fact that defendant receives a substantial year-end bonus simply because it is not received until the following year. This provision does not require court to structure payment of alimony and child support to accommodate payor's compensation schedule. 71 CA 614. Duration of alimony in context of length of the marriage was not a properly considered "equitable factor". 79 CA 488. Financial orders cannot be logically inconsistent with factual findings. 82 CA 378. Trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined plaintiff lacked funds to defend appeal and ordered defendant to pay a set fee to plaintiff's attorney. 83 CA 478. Court statements re consideration of criteria for alimony means it considered and decided issue of alimony even though there was no express finding on alimony. 85 CA 772. Court must consider all statutory criteria but is free to accord whatever weight it determines appropriate to each statutory factor. 86 CA 665. Trial court properly considered defendant's cohabitation in relation to her financial situation in analyzing statutory factors and determining whether modification of alimony was warranted. 88 CA 674. Defendant's argument that court ignored several factors is unavailing since court is not required to make explicit reference to the statutory criteria that it considered in making its decision or to make express findings as to each statutory factor. 107 CA 488.

      Cited. 41 CS 115.

      Subsec. (a):

      Appellate court's conclusion that trial court improperly relied on total length of parties' relationship in crafting its financial orders was supported by record; under Sec. 46b-81(c) and this Subsec., a court shall consider length of parties' marriage, which does not include prior marriages or cohabitation preceding marriage. 280 C. 632.

      Prior marriage and cohabitation between parties before their remarriage to each other are not to be included when calculating "length of the marriage" in remarriage divorce proceedings. 93 CA 618. Defendant's annual bonus constituted an "amount and source of income" that court should have considered when determining division of marital property and awarding alimony and child support, and matter should be remanded for recalculation of all awards even though child support award was calculated correctly. 98 CA 706. Court must consider all statutory criteria but there is no additional requirement that court specifically state how it weighed statutory criteria or explain in detail the importance assigned to each statutory factor. 99 CA 326.


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      Sec. 46b-83. (Formerly Sec. 46-50). Alimony, support and use of family home or other residential dwelling unit awarded pendente lite. Voluntary leaving of family home by one parent. (a) At any time after the return day of a complaint under section 46b-45 or 46b-56 or after filing an application under section 46b-61, and after hearing, alimony and support pendente lite may be awarded to either of the parties from the date of the filing of an application therefor with the Superior Court. Full credit shall be given for all sums paid to one party by the other from the date of the filing of such a motion to the date of rendition of such order. In making an order for alimony pendente lite, the court shall consider all factors enumerated in section 46b-82, except the grounds for the complaint or cross complaint, to be considered with respect to a permanent award of alimony. In making an order for support pendente lite, the court shall consider all factors enumerated in section 46b-84. The court may also award exclusive use of the family home or any other dwelling unit which is available for use as a residence pendente lite to either of the parties as is just and equitable without regard to the respective interests of the parties in the property.

      (b) In any proceeding brought under section 46b-45, 46b-56 or 46b-61 involving a minor child, if one of the parents residing in the family home leaves such home voluntarily and not subject to court order, and if the court finds that the voluntary leaving of the family home by such parent served the best interests of the child, the court may consider such voluntary leaving as a factor when making or modifying any order pursuant to section 46b-56.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 22; P.A. 74-169, S. 13, 18; P.A. 75-530, S. 14, 35; P.A. 78-230, S. 35, 54; P.A. 93-7; P.A. 99-215, S. 6, 29; P.A. 05-258, S. 5.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 added references to Secs. 46-42 and 46-52; P.A. 75-530 referred to return day of complaint rather than to its filing date and required consideration of factors in Sec. 46-57 when making order for support pendente lite where previously factors in Sec. 46-52 were to be considered in making such an order; P.A. 78-230 made minor change in wording; Sec. 46-50 transferred to Sec. 46b-83 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 93-7 authorized the court to award exclusive use of "any other dwelling unit which is available for use as a residence" pendente lite and to make the award of the family home or such dwelling unit to either of the parties "as is just and equitable"; P.A. 99-215 added "after filing an application under section" and substituted "a motion" for "an application", effective January 1, 2000; P.A. 05-258 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and made technical changes therein and added Subsec. (b) re voluntary leaving of family home by one parent.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      Annotations to former section 46-50:

      Cited. 171 C. 433.

      Alimony. 33 CS 44.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 183 C. 230. Cited. 194 C. 312. Cited. 211 C. 801.

      Cited. 18 CA 622. Cited. 24 CA 219. Cited. 41 CA 861; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 490. In accordance with Adriani v. Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, 220 C. 307, reasonable cause standard requires commission to consider all reliable probative evidence, including evidence unfavorable to complainant, and investigator and commission may make findings on disputed issues of material fact. 116 CA 776.

      Cited. 41 CS 258. Cited. 42 CS 562.


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      Sec. 46b-84. (Formerly Sec. 46-57). Parents' obligation for maintenance of minor child. Order for health insurance coverage. (a) Upon or subsequent to the annulment or dissolution of any marriage or the entry of a decree of legal separation or divorce, the parents of a minor child of the marriage, shall maintain the child according to their respective abilities, if the child is in need of maintenance. Any postjudgment procedure afforded by chapter 906 shall be available to secure the present and future financial interests of a party in connection with a final order for the periodic payment of child support.

      (b) If there is an unmarried child of the marriage who has attained the age of eighteen and is a full-time high school student, the parents shall maintain the child according to their respective abilities if the child is in need of maintenance until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains the age of nineteen, whichever occurs first. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only in cases where the decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is entered on or after July 1, 1994.

      (c) The court may make appropriate orders of support of any child with mental retardation, as defined in section 1-1g, or a mental disability or physical disability, as defined in subdivision (15) of section 46a-51, who resides with a parent and is principally dependent upon such parent for maintenance until such child attains the age of twenty-one. The child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a shall not apply to orders entered under this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only in cases where the decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is entered on or after October 1, 1997, or where the initial support orders in actions not claiming any such decree are entered on or after October 1, 1997.

      (d) In determining whether a child is in need of maintenance and, if in need, the respective abilities of the parents to provide such maintenance and the amount thereof, the court shall consider the age, health, station, occupation, earning capacity, amount and sources of income, estate, vocational skills and employability of each of the parents, and the age, health, station, occupation, educational status and expectation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of the child.

      (e) At any time at which orders are entered in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, annulment, legal separation, custody, or support, whether before, at the time of, or after entry of a decree or judgment, if health insurance coverage for a child is ordered by the court to be maintained, the court shall provide in the order that (1) the signature of the custodial parent or custodian of the insured dependent shall constitute a valid authorization to the insurer for purposes of processing an insurance reimbursement payment to the provider of the medical services, to the custodial parent or to the custodian, (2) neither parent shall prevent or interfere with the timely processing of any insurance reimbursement claim and (3) if the parent receiving an insurance reimbursement payment is not the parent or custodian who is paying the bill for the services of the medical provider, the parent receiving such insurance reimbursement payment shall promptly pay to the parent or custodian paying such bill any insurance reimbursement for such services. For purposes of subdivision (1), the custodial parent or custodian is responsible for providing the insurer with a certified copy of the order of dissolution or other order requiring maintenance of insurance for a child provided if such custodial parent or custodian fails to provide the insurer with a copy of such order, the Commissioner of Social Services may provide the insurer with a copy of such order. Such insurer may thereafter rely on such order and is not responsible for inquiring as to the legal sufficiency of the order. The custodial parent or custodian shall be responsible for providing the insurer with a certified copy of any order which materially alters the provision of the original order with respect to the maintenance of insurance for a child. If presented with an insurance reimbursement claim signed by the custodial parent or custodian, such insurer shall reimburse the provider of the medical services, if payment is to be made to such provider under the policy, or shall otherwise reimburse the custodial parent or custodian.

      (f) (1) After the granting of a decree annulling or dissolving the marriage or ordering a legal separation, and upon complaint or motion with order and summons made to the Superior Court by either parent or by the Commissioner of Administrative Services in any case arising under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the court shall inquire into the child's need of maintenance and the respective abilities of the parents to supply maintenance. The court shall make and enforce the decree for the maintenance of the child as it considers just, and may direct security to be given therefor, including an order to either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party. The court may order that a party obtain life insurance as such security unless such party proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that such insurance is not available to such party, such party is unable to pay the cost of such insurance or such party is uninsurable.

      (2) The court shall include in each support order a provision for the health care coverage of the child who is subject to the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section. Such provision may include an order for either parent or both parents to provide such coverage under any or all of subparagraphs (A), (B) or (C) of this subdivision.

      (A) The provision for health care coverage may include an order for either parent to name any child as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance or benefit plan carried by such parent or available to such parent at a reasonable cost, as described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. If such order in a IV-D support case requires the parent to maintain insurance available through an employer, the order shall be enforced using a National Medical Support Notice as provided in section 46b-88.

      (B) The provision for health care coverage may include an order for either parent to: (i) Apply for and maintain coverage on behalf of the child under the HUSKY Plan, Part B; or (ii) provide cash medical support, as described in subparagraphs (E) and (F) of this subdivision. An order under this subparagraph shall be made only if the cost to the parent obligated to maintain the coverage under the HUSKY Plan, Part B, or provide cash medical support is reasonable, as described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. An order under clause (i) of this subparagraph shall be made only if insurance coverage as described in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision is unavailable at reasonable cost to either parent, or inaccessible to the child.

      (C) An order for payment of the child's medical and dental expenses, other than those described in clause (ii) of subparagraph (E) of this subdivision, that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner shall be entered in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a.

      (D) Health care coverage shall be deemed reasonable in cost if: (i) The parent obligated to maintain such coverage would qualify as a low-income obligor under the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, based solely on such parent's income, and the cost does not exceed five per cent of such parent's net income; or (ii) the parent obligated to maintain such coverage would not qualify as a low-income obligor under such guidelines and the cost does not exceed seven and one-half per cent of such parent's net income. In either case, net income shall be determined in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a. If a parent obligated to maintain insurance must obtain coverage for himself or herself to comply with the order to provide coverage for the child, reasonable cost shall be determined based on the combined cost of coverage for such parent and such child.

      (E) Cash medical support means: (i) An amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of premiums for health insurance coverage provided by a public entity, including the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B, except as provided in subparagraph (F) of this subdivision, or by another parent through employment or otherwise, or (ii) an amount ordered to be paid, either directly to a medical provider or to the person obligated to pay such provider, toward any ongoing extraordinary medical and dental expenses of the child that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner, provided such expenses are documented and identified specifically on the record. Cash medical support, as described in clauses (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph may be ordered in lieu of an order under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision to be effective until such time as health insurance that is accessible to the child and reasonable in cost becomes available, or in addition to an order under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, provided the combined cost of insurance and cash medical support is reasonable, as defined in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. An order for cash medical support shall be payable to the state or the custodial party, as their interests may appear, provided an order under clause (i) of this subparagraph shall be effective only as long as health insurance coverage is maintained. Any unreimbursed medical and dental expenses not covered by an order issued pursuant to clause (ii) of this subparagraph are subject to an order for unreimbursed medical and dental expenses pursuant to subparagraph (C) of this subdivision.

      (F) Cash medical support to offset the cost of any insurance payable under the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B, shall not be ordered against a noncustodial parent who is a low-income obligor, as defined in the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, or against a custodial parent of children covered under the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B.

      (g) Whenever an obligor is before the court in proceedings to establish, modify or enforce a support order, and such order is not secured by an income withholding order, the court may require the obligor to execute a bond or post other security sufficient to perform such order for support, provided the court finds that such a bond is available for purchase within the financial means of the obligor. Upon failure of such obligor to comply with such support order, the court may order the bond or the security forfeited and the proceeds thereof distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. In any IV-D case in which the obligor is found by the court to owe past-due support, the court may issue an order for the periodic payment of such support or, if such obligor is not incapacitated, order such obligor to participate in work activities which may include, but shall not be limited to, job search, training, work experience and participation in the job training and retraining program established by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to section 31-3t.

      (h) In IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, a copy of any support order established or modified pursuant to this section or, in the case of a motion for modification of an existing support order, a notice of determination that there should be no change in the amount of the support order, shall be provided to each party and the state case registry within fourteen days after issuance of such order or determination.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 26; P.A. 74-169, S. 14, 18; P.A. 77-614, S. 70, 610; P.A. 78-230, S. 42, 54; P.A. 83-527, S. 2; P.A. 84-205, S. 1; 84-230; P.A. 87-207, S. 2; P.A. 89-195, S. 2; P.A. 91-4, S. 1, 2; P.A. 94-61, S. 1, 2; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-5, S. 9, 30; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 63, 130; P.A. 97-321, S. 1; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 104, 165; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 17, 38; P.A. 99-279, S. 29, 45; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 42; P.A. 03-130, S. 4; 03-202, S. 24; P.A. 06-149, S. 8; P.A. 07-247, S. 6, 7.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 required parents to maintain child "subsequent to" as well as "upon" annulment or dissolution of marriage or separation decree and added reference to divorce; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of finance and control with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and restated provisions in Subsecs. (a) and (c); Sec. 46-57 transferred to Sec. 46b-84 in 1979; P.A. 83-527 amended Subsec. (c) to provide that the court may order either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party; P.A. 84-205 added the language concerning orders for medical or dental insurance in Subsec. (c); P.A. 84-230 inserted new Subsec. (c) re order for health insurance coverage for an insured dependent of the marriage, relettering former Subsec. (c) as (d); P.A. 87-207 amended Subsec. (c) to clarify that if the parent receiving an insurance reimbursement payment is not the parent who paid the bill, the former shall promptly pay the latter the amount of the reimbursement, and to require parents to notify insurers of any order altering responsibility for maintenance of insurance for the child; P.A. 89-195 added Subsec. (e) re authority of court to order bond or security for performance of support order and forfeiture of such bond or security and payment of proceeds; P.A. 91-4 amended Subsec. (c) by adding "or custodian" after "custodial parent"; P.A. 94-61 inserted new Subsec. (b) re support of unmarried child who has attained age of 18, is a full-time high school student and resides with a parent until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains age of 19, whichever first occurs, effective July 1, 1994; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-5 allowed the commissioner of social services to provide an insurer with a copy of the order of dissolution or other order requiring maintenance of insurance for a minor child if the custodial parent or custodian fails to provide the insurer with a copy, effective July 1, 1994; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 made technical changes in Subsecs. (d) and (e), effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 97-321 added new provisions as Subsec. (c) re order of support of child with mental retardation or mental disability residing with parent until child is twenty-one, redesignating remaining Subsecs. accordingly; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (g) to replace references to "AFDC" with reference to "TANF", effective July 1, 1997; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (f) by requiring court to include provision for health care coverage of child in each support order, amended Subsec. (g) by changing "wage garnishment" to "income withholding order" and adding provision re IV-D cases in which obligor found to owe past-due support and added Subsec. (h) re copy of support order notification or other determination to be supplied to each party and state case registry, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 99-279 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provisions re health care coverage under HUSKY Plan where coverage is unavailable at reasonable cost through a parent, effective July 1, 1999; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision re enforcement of employment-based order in a IV-D support case using a National Medical Support Notice; P.A. 03-130 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re availability of postjudgment procedure; P.A. 03-202 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision re order to obtain life insurance as security; P.A. 06-149 amended Subsec. (f) to substitute exemption from insurance payment contributions for low-income obligors for prior exemption if payment would reduce amount of support required under child support guidelines, and amended Subsec. (g) to substitute requirement that proceeds of forfeited bond or security be distributed as required by Title IV-D for prior requirement that proceeds be paid to the state in TANF cases or the obligee in non-TANF cases, effective June 6, 2006; P.A. 07-247 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting requirement that child "resides with a parent" re support for a child 18 or older who is a full-time high school student, and substantially revised Subsec. (f) by adding new Subdiv. designators (1) and (2), by adding Subpara. designators (A) to (F) in Subsec. (f)(2), by specifying in Subsec. (f)(2) that either parent may be ordered to name a child as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance plan carried by or available to such parent at a reasonable cost, by describing "reasonable in cost" re maintaining health care coverage, deleting language that required applying for coverage under the HUSKY Plan, Part B only if noncustodial parent had sufficient ability to pay appropriate premium, by providing that court may order either parent to provide for coverage under HUSKY Plan, Part B, or alternatively enter an order for "cash medical support" as long as any such order was reasonable, by defining "cash medical support" and requirements related to entry of a cash medical support order and by making technical changes.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      See Sec. 17b-744 re discontinuance of such support payments to Commissioner of Administrative Services.

      See Sec. 46b-88 re National Medical Support Notice.

      See Sec. 46b-215e re institutionalized or incarcerated child support obligor.


      Annotations to former section 46-57:

      Court's conclusion that wife's departure with children was unlawful without first procuring the permission of the court is incorrect. 165 C. 735. Cited. 168 C. 264. Cited. 170 C. 258. Cited. 171 C. 23. Cited. 176 C. 222.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 177 C. 47. Defendant was under no statutory obligation to provide support because he was not the child's biological or adoptive father and had not been adjudged the father in a paternity proceeding or filed a formal acknowledgment of paternity. 180 C. 114. Court did not exceed its authority by setting aside certain personal property for the use of the minor children. Id., 528. Cited. 181 C. 145; Id., 463. Cited. 183 C. 230. Trial court abused its discretion in requiring the noncustodial parent to pay for private secondary schooling to which he, in good faith, objected, as being unnecessary and undesirable. Id., 253. Cited. Id., 512. Cited. 184 C. 406. Subject matter jurisdiction discussed. Id., 558. Cited. 187 C. 380. Cited. 188 C. 354. Support award may not be used to disguise alimony awards to custodial parent. 190 C. 345. Cited. 196 C. 260. Cited. 197 C. 1. Cited. 199 C. 287. Cited. 228 C. 85. Cited. 235 C. 82. Cited. 236 C. 582. Cited. 240 C. 35. Court need not make explicit reference to statutory criteria it considered in its decision resolving property and alimony disputes in dissolution of marriage action; judgment of appellate court in Coffe v. Coffe, 40 CA 178 et seq., reversed. Id., 79.

      Cited. 1 CA 686. Cited. 2 CA 348. Cited. 3 CA 322. Cited. 5 CA 85; Id., 249. Cited. 10 CA 466. Cited. 15 CA 292. Cited. 18 CA 336. Cited. 19 CA 146. Cited. 22 CA 392. Cited. 25 CA 555; Id., 595. Cited. 26 CA 174; Id., 737. Cited. 27 CA 364. Cited. 39 CA 162. Cited. 41 CA 716; Id., 861. Cited. 43 CA 541; Id., 575. Cited. 44 CA 605. Child support order that provided a single dollar amount for support of all children, and did not provide mechanism for dividing support between the children once elder child reached age of majority, demonstrates an intent by the parties that they clearly and unambiguously provided only for the support of minor children, and did not enter into an agreement for postmajority support. 107 CA 1.

      Cited. 41 CS 429. Cited. 42 CS 562. Parent's obligation to support his or her children exists only until age of majority. 49 CS 238.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 236 C. 250.

      Cited. 2 CA 270. Cited. 33 CA 633.

      Subsec. (b):

      Award of child support based on defendant's demonstrated earning capacity is appropriate especially where defendant has wilfully depleted his earnings. 180 C. 184. Cited. 186 C. 191; Id., 311. Cited. 206 C. 150. Cited. 207 C. 217. Cited. 218 C. 467.

      Cited. 2 CA 270. Cited. 17 CA 670.

      Section has a legitimate governmental purpose and any classification created by section is rationally related to such purpose and, therefore, does not violate equal protection clause of U.S. Constitution. 46 CS 553.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 219 C. 703.

      Cited. 20 CA 609.

      Subsec. (d):

      "Amount and sources of income" has been consistently construed as limited to parties' available net income rather than gross income. Since trial court improperly relied on gross income in determining defendant's support obligation, all other financial orders appurtenant to the modification proceeding must fail because the child support order is entirely interwoven with such other financial orders, and trial court, on remand, must reconsider all financial orders associated with the modification. 262 C. 299. Child support order was improper where the court based award on the defendant's superior earning capacity, the needs of the plaintiff and the disparity in parental income and where the court failed to consider the needs of the children; when parties' combined net weekly income exceeds the upper limit of the guidelines' schedule, the court shall apply the principles that underlie the child support guidelines. 296 C. 80. Child support orders must be made in accordance with the principles established in statute and the child support guidelines, and any deviation must be accompanied by the court's explanation as to why the guidelines are inequitable or inappropriate and why deviation is necessary to meet needs of child; court improperly awarded 20 per cent of defendant's annual cash bonus as additional child support. 297 C. 358.

      Cited. 31 CA 214. In considering "amount and sources of income", court cannot ignore fact that defendant receives a substantial year-end bonus simply because it is not received until the following year. This provision does not require court to structure payment of alimony and child support to accommodate payor's compensation schedule. 71 CA 614. Trial court's determination of child support award reversed where trial court improperly imputed to obligor an amount of investment income unsupported by the evidence and not legally warranted. For court to impute additional investment income capacity to a party in formulating its support orders, court must find that party has unreasonably depressed investment income in order to evade a support obligation or that party's investment strategy is economically unreasonable. 87 CA 699. Defendant's annual bonus constituted an "amount and source of income" that court should have considered when determining division of marital property and awarding alimony and child support, and matter should be remanded for recalculation of all awards even though child support award was calculated correctly. 98 CA 706.


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      Sec. 46b-85. (Formerly Sec. 46-53). Order for support of mentally ill spouse. At the time of granting dissolution of a marriage to which one party is mentally ill or at any time thereafter, on application of either party or of the guardian or conservator of the mentally ill spouse, or of any person, town or other municipality charged with the support of the mentally ill spouse, or the Commissioner of Administrative Services if the state is charged, the court may make such order requiring support of the mentally ill spouse, or security for support, as may be proper. The court may set aside or alter any such order, at any time thereafter, on application of either party or of the guardian of the mentally ill spouse, or of any person, town or other municipality charged with support, or the Commissioner of Administrative Services if the state is charged. Any order providing for the support of the mentally ill party shall be enforceable in the same manner as orders relating to alimony.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7332; 1953, 1955, S. 3004d; 1957, P.A. 502, S. 3; P.A. 73-373, S. 30; P.A. 77-614, S. 70, 610; P.A. 78-230, S. 38, 54.)

      History: P.A. 73-373 referred to "dissolution of a marriage one party to which is mentally ill" rather than to divorce "granted on the ground of mental illness", substituted commissioner of finance and control for welfare commissioner and "mentally ill spouse" for "defendant" and deleted provision which prohibited orders for support to continue support of sane wife from estate of mentally ill husband after the wife remarries; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of finance and control with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 78-230 restated provisions but made no substantive changes; Sec. 46-53 transferred to Sec. 46b-85 in 1979.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      Cited. 184 C. 307.

      Cited. 20 CA 500. Cited. 26 CA 386; Id., 737.


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      Sec. 46b-86. (Formerly Sec. 46-54). Modification of alimony or support orders and judgments. (a) Unless and to the extent that the decree precludes modification, any final order for the periodic payment of permanent alimony or support, an order for alimony or support pendente lite or an order requiring either party to maintain life insurance for the other party or a minor child of the parties may, at any time thereafter, be continued, set aside, altered or modified by the court upon a showing of a substantial change in the circumstances of either party or upon a showing that the final order for child support substantially deviates from the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, unless there was a specific finding on the record that the application of the guidelines would be inequitable or inappropriate. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any deviation of less than fifteen per cent from the child support guidelines is not substantial and any deviation of fifteen per cent or more from the guidelines is substantial. Modification may be made of such support order without regard to whether the order was issued before, on or after May 9, 1991. In determining whether to modify a child support order based on a substantial deviation from such child support guidelines the court shall consider the division of real and personal property between the parties set forth in the final decree and the benefits accruing to the child as the result of such division. After the date of judgment, modification of any child support order issued before, on or after July 1, 1990, may be made upon a showing of such substantial change of circumstances, whether or not such change of circumstances was contemplated at the time of dissolution. By written agreement, stipulation or decision of the court, those items or circumstances that were contemplated and are not to be changed may be specified in the written agreement, stipulation or decision of the court. This section shall not apply to assignments under section 46b-81 or to any assignment of the estate or a portion thereof of one party to the other party under prior law. No order for periodic payment of permanent alimony or support may be subject to retroactive modification, except that the court may order modification with respect to any period during which there is a pending motion for modification of an alimony or support order from the date of service of notice of such pending motion upon the opposing party pursuant to section 52-50.

      (b) In an action for divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment brought by a husband or wife, in which a final judgment has been entered providing for the payment of periodic alimony by one party to the other, the Superior Court may, in its discretion and upon notice and hearing, modify such judgment and suspend, reduce or terminate the payment of periodic alimony upon a showing that the party receiving the periodic alimony is living with another person under circumstances which the court finds should result in the modification, suspension, reduction or termination of alimony because the living arrangements cause such a change of circumstances as to alter the financial needs of that party.

      (c) When one of the parties, or a child of the parties, is receiving or has received aid or care from the state under its aid to families with dependent children program or temporary assistance for needy families program or under its foster care program as provided in Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, or where one of the parties has applied for child support enforcement services under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act as provided in section 17b-179, such motion to modify shall be filed with the Family Support Magistrate Division for determination in accordance with subsection (m) of section 46b-231.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 23; P.A. 78-230, S. 39, 54; P.A. 86-359, S. 2, 44; P.A. 87-104; P.A. 89-360, S. 12, 45; P.A. 90-188, S. 1; 90-213, S. 46, 56; P.A. 91-76, S. 1, 7; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 105, 165; P.A. 01-135, S. 2, 3; P.A. 10-36, S. 6.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 added Subsec. (b) re changes in alimony when recipient is living with another person and changed circumstances alter recipient's financial needs; Sec. 46-54 transferred to Sec. 46b-86 in 1979 and internal reference to Sec. 46-51 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 86-359 added Subsec. (c) re referral of motion to modify to family support magistrate where one of parties or child is receiving or has received aid from AFDC program or foster care program or where one of parties has applied for child support enforcement services under Title IV-D; P.A. 87-104 provided that (1) after date of judgment, modification may be made upon showing of substantive change in circumstances, whether or not such change of circumstances was contemplated at the time of dissolution and (2) those items that were contemplated and are not to be changed may be specified in the written agreement, stipulation or decision of the court; P.A. 89-360 amended Subsec. (c) by changing "referred to" to "filed with" and added "determination in accordance with subsection (m) of section 46b-231"; P.A. 90-188 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision permitting modification of child support order if it substantially deviates from the child support guidelines established under Sec. 46b-215a unless inequitable or inappropriate, and prohibiting retroactive modification of order of periodic payment or permanent alimony or support, except during period of pending motion for modification; P.A. 90-213 added provision that modifications can be made pursuant to this section to support orders issued before or after July 1, 1990; P.A. 91-76 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re rebuttable presumption that deviation of less than 15% from child support guidelines is not substantial and any deviation of more than 15% is substantial and permitting modification of support order without regard to whether order issued before on or after May 9, 1991; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (c) to make technical and conforming changes re references to assistance programs, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 01-135 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision permitting court to order either party to maintain life insurance for other party or minor child of parties, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 10-36 amended Subsec. (a) to reposition provision re order to maintain life insurance and make technical changes, effective July 1, 2010.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      Annotations to former section 46-54:

      Cited. 171 C. 215. Cited. 172 C. 11; Id., 192. Absent express legislative authorization, this section does not authorize retroactive modification of alimony. 173 C. 397. Cited. Id., 397. Questions involving modification of alimony and support depend not only on conditions as they exist at the time of the hearing but upon proof of substantial change in circumstances of either party. 174 C. 3. Payment of accrued arrears of alimony does not constitute a substantial change in circumstances as to justify modification downward of spouse's current alimony obligations. Id., 279. Cited. 176 C. 323. Cited. 183 C. 443.

      Cited. 15 CA 745.

      Any final order of alimony may be set aside unless and to the extent that the decree precludes modification upon a showing of a substantial change in the circumstances of either party. 32 CS 92. Modification of alimony. 33 CS 44. Cited. 34 CS 628. Cited. 43 CS 400.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 179 C. 277; Id., 685. Future alimony orders are ordinarily subject to modification in the event of a substantial change of circumstances. 180 C. 211. Trial court erred in deciding that, as a matter of law, the loss of child support payments could not constitute a substantial change in circumstances permitting modification of alimony. Id., 218. Since some alimony was awarded (one dollar per year), with no preclusion of modification, a change can be obtained in the future if circumstances warrant. Id., 533. Cited. 181 C. 111. Cited. 183 C. 253. Cited. 185 C. 141. Cited. 186 C. 387. Cited. 187 C. 380. Cited. 188 C. 385. Cited. 190 C. 126; Id., 132. Cited. 191 C. 468. Cited. 194 C. 25. Cited. 200 C. 202. Cited. 204 C. 224. Cited. 210 C. 462. Cited. 211 C. 648. Cited. 213 C. 373. Cited. 214 C. 99. Cited. 216 C. 673. Cited. 218 C. 801. As amended applies retrospectively to orders entered prior to effective date. 219 C. 703. P.A. 90-188 cited. Id. P.A. 87-104 and P.A. 90-213, Sec. 46 cited. Id. P.A. 91-76 cited. Id. Cited. 220 C. 372. Cited. 221 C. 698. Cited. 224 C. 263. Cited. 227 C. 505. Cited. 228 C. 85; Id., 729. Cited. 231 C. 1. Cited. 234 C. 783. Cited. 236 C. 582. Payments that are made regularly and consistently to former spouse are to be considered by trial court in setting financial orders. There is no legal distinction between how to treat income between former spouse who pays support and former spouse who receives support. 262 C. 360.

      Cited. 1 CA 172; Id., 337. Cited. 2 CA 472. Cited. 3 CA 25. Continuing jurisdiction of superior court to set aside, alter or modify support orders under the statute does not deprive underlying adjudication of finality for purposes of res judicata. Id., 322. Cited. 9 CA 498. Cited. 13 CA 330. Cited. 14 CA 541. Cited. 15 CA 745. Cited. 16 CA 412. Cited. 18 CA 166; Id., 622. Cited. 19 CA 146. Cited. 22 CA 367. No authorization for retroactive modification of unallocated alimony and support pendente lite. 24 CA 219. Cited. 25 CA 555. Cited. 26 CA 737. Cited. 28 CA 208; Id., 483; Id., 632; Id., 794. Cited. 29 CA 368; Id., 436. Cited. 30 CA 324; Id., 516. Cited. 31 CA 40; Id., 561; Id., 761. Cited. 32 CA 147; Id., 733. Cited. 37 CA 194; Id., 397. Cited. 38 CA 349. Cited. 39 CA 258. Cited. 40 CA 298. Cited. 41 CA 861; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 490. Cited. 43 CA 541. Cited. 46 CA 87. Speculation as to future financial circumstances of parties is insufficient to support modification of alimony or support order. Party seeking modification has burden of proving substantial change in circumstances. 47 CA 354. Modification of alimony award based on party's cohabitation discussed re judgment that precluded modification for any reason other than remarriage or death. 49 CA 529. Section governs modification of child support order after date of a dissolution judgment. Regulations interpreted. 53 CA 1. Capital gains generated by asset distributed in the dissolution decree do not fall within purview of section. 70 CA 772. Award of alimony that is substantially modified, in discretion of Superior Court, and reflects de novo consideration by the court, after notice and hearing, of all relevant statutory criteria, is not abuse of trial court's discretion and is binding on appellate court absent a finding by appellate court of a clearly erroneous standard of review by trial court. 93 CA 186. Trial court did not improperly fail to reduce alimony award on basis of a substantial change in circumstances. 110 CA 57.

      Cited. 40 CS 250. Cited. 41 CS 110; Id., 429. Cited. 42 CS 562. Cited. 43 CS 400.

      Subsec. (a):

      Removal of children by custodial parent to foreign country did not constitute substantial change of circumstances so as to justify noncustodial parent withholding support payments. 177 C. 232. Cited. Id., 259. Portion of dissolution judgment which gave wife option to purchase husband's interest in jointly owned home was an assignment of property and not subject to modification. Exercise of option was contemplated by parties at time of judgment and does not constitute substantial change of circumstances warranting modification of alimony. 180 C. 285. Cited. 181 C. 145. Cited. 185 C. 7; Id., 42; Id., 573. Cited. 187 C. 464; Id., 537. Cited. 190 C. 784. Cited. 191 C. 447. Cited. 192 C. 443. Statute not designed to change common law and permit divorcing parents, by stipulation incorporated into divorce decree, to contractually limit their children's right to support. 196 C. 260. Amendment applied prospectively. 210 C. 462. Cited. 212 C. 117; Id., 441. Cited. 217 C. 394. Cited. 226 C. 219. Court concluded as a matter of common law rather than of statutory construction that alimony orders should be treated similarly to the way that child support orders are now required to be treated pursuant to P.A. 90-213, Sec. 46. Id., 505. P.A. 87-104 and P.A. 90-213 cited. Id. Cited. 235 C. 45. Cited. 237 C. 481. Appellate Court incorrectly found that trial court had no subject matter jurisdiction to modify an order under the statute. 247 C. 724. Defendant deemed to have waived claim for support modification by not claiming that trial court abused its discretion in unjustified deviation from child support guidelines in support order. 248 C. 487. Statute permits court to alter order for alimony only in absence of nonmodification clause that would extend to bar requested change. 285 C. 687.

      Cited. 1 CA 138; Id., 356; Id., 400. Cited. 2 CA 160; Id., 239. Cited. 3 CA 261. Cited. 4 CA 275; Id., 398; Id., 489; Id., 663. Cited. 5 CA 85; Id., 198; Id., 355. Cited. 6 CA 98. "In the absence of an express, unambiguous statement in the decree precluding modification", the statute permits modification under circumstances set forth. Id., 253. Cited. 7 CA 92; Id., 624; Id., 720. Cited. 8 CA 76; Id., 114; Id., 356. Cited. 10 CA 391; Id., 576. Cited. 12 CA 113; Id., 521; Id., 616. Cited. 13 CA 512; Id., 681. Cited. 14 CA 195. Cited. 16 CA 114; Id., 134; Id., 193. Cited. 19 CA 161; Id., 534. Cited. 21 CA 5. Cited. 23 CA 58. Cited. 24 CA 509. Cited. 25 CA 82; Id., 231; Id., 563. P.A. 90-188 cited. Id. Cited. Id., 595; Id., 693 Cited. 27 CA 724. Cited. 28 CA 854; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 85. Cited. 32 CA 465. Cited erroneously as Sec. 46a-86a. 34 CA 785; judgment reversed, see 235 C. 45. Cited. 35 CA 228. Cited. 36 CA 794. Cited. 37 CA 209. Cited. 39 CA 669. Cited. 41 CA 382; Id., 716. Cited. 44 CA 99. Cited. 45 CA 737. Cited. 46 CA 327. Cited. 49 CA 536. Trial court has authority to determine, sua sponte, whether an award is alimony or support, or a property settlement. 54 CA 142. Trial court may find that an obligation was intended as property settlement made pursuant to Sec. 46b-81 and therefore nonmodifiable pursuant to this Subsec., despite the fact that a judgment has conditions attached terminating the obligation, or that there is a later stipulation modifying the obligation. Id. Retroactive modification of alimony pendente lite orders by the pendente lite court prior to dissolution judgment held not improper. Id., 304. Child support award found not to be modifiable even though it exceeded presumptive amount set by the child support guidelines in case in which defendant's gross earnings did not increase and the parties had agreement that limited modification to a change in circumstances reflecting an increase in gross earnings in excess of a specified amount. 56 CA 459. Alimony may be suspended under statute where there is a distinct separation agreement. 59 CA 628. Statute deprives Superior Court of continuing jurisdiction over that portion of a dissolution judgment providing for assignment of property of one party to the other party under Sec. 46b-81. 70 CA 212. Court improperly applied the law and abused its discretion by modifying child support order without first finding that there was a substantial change in the circumstances of one of the parties. Id. "Pending motion" as used in subsec. means "remaining undecided". 88 CA 246. Plaintiff failed to demonstrate, as required by the consent to judgment, that defendant was gainfully employed and therefore there was no substantial change in circumstances. Trial court was effectively precluded from granting plaintiff any relief. 102 CA 1.

      Cited. 41 CS 100. Cited. 44 CS 431.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 185 C. 42. Cited. 186 C. 167. Discussion of "living with another person" and "change of circumstances as to alter the financial needs". Id., 387 (Diss. Op.). Cited. 191 C. 328. Trial court cannot on its own initiative consider alimony termination under the statute. Notice required by a written motion. Id., 468. Cited. 192 C. 443. Cited. 237 C. 481. Despite a divorce dissolution judgment that provided for termination of alimony upon recipient's "cohabitation" with an unmarried male, trial court was properly guided by statute's requirement that there be a change in financial circumstance prior to termination of alimony. 247 C. 715. Plaintiff had to demonstrate that defendant's remarriage had a financial impact pursuant to the dissolution judgment, even though statute only references cohabitation; legislative intent has no bearing on whether parties or dissolution court can invoke statute for a different purpose in an agreement or decree. 276 C. 491.

      Without written notice the court has no authority to terminate periodic alimony under this statute. 1 CA 356, 361. Cited. 4 CA 165. Cited. 5 CA 198. Cited. 7 CA 92; Id., 361. Cited. 8 CA 356. Cited. 17 CA 291. Cited erroneously as Sec. 46b-86b. 32 CA 147. Cited. 40 CA 570. Cited. 41 CA 716. Cited. 46 CA 327. Judgment of dissolution provision supersedes statutory provision re payment of alimony. 47 CA 729. Although plaintiff established that defendant was cohabiting with another person, he failed to show that defendant's financial needs had been altered as a result of the cohabitation, thus trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying motion to modify or terminate periodic alimony. 67 CA 628. Once court finds cohabitation and a change in financial needs of the party receiving alimony and cohabitating, court must consider factors listed in Sec. 46b-82. 91 CA 840. Trial court properly rejected defendant's claim that his cohabitation with another woman served as a proper ground for modification of alimony as to term. 102 CA 90. When court, in setting alimony award pursuant to Sec. 46b-82, quantifies person's financial needs in terms of dollar amounts at time of dissolution, proper way for court to subsequently determine whether such person's financial needs have changed as a result of cohabiltation is to quantify such person's financial needs in terms of dollar amounts during period of cohabitation. 109 CA 316.

      Cited. 45 CS 94.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 222 C. 799.


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      Sec. 46b-87. (Formerly Sec. 46-56). Contempt of orders. When any person is found in contempt of an order of the Superior Court entered under section 46b-60 to 46b-62, inclusive, 46b-81 to 46b-83, inclusive, or 46b-86, the court may award to the petitioner a reasonable attorney's fee and the fees of the officer serving the contempt citation, such sums to be paid by the person found in contempt, provided if any such person is found not to be in contempt of such order, the court may award a reasonable attorney's fee to such person. The costs of commitment of any person imprisoned for contempt of court by reason of failure to comply with such an order shall be paid by the state as in criminal cases.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 25; P.A. 78-230, S. 41, 54; P.A. 88-196.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 made minor changes in wording; Sec. 46-56 transferred to Sec. 46b-87 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 88-196 permitted court to award reasonable attorney's fee to petitioner and added proviso that if any person is not found to be in contempt of order, the court may award a reasonable attorney's fee to such person.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      Cited. 241 C. 490. Court's decision to award attorney's fees to defendant who withheld information for seven years that she was obligated to report to plaintiff under dissolution decree violates equitable principles and constitutes an abuse of judicial discretion. 244 C. 523.

      Cited. 11 CA 610. Cited. 13 CA 330. Cited. 22 CA 136. Cited. 24 CA 180. Cited. 26 CA 326. Cited. 28 CA 794. Cited. 41 CA 861; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 490. P.A. 88-196 cited. Id.; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 490. Cited. 43 CA 844. Statute does not contain any requirement that an award of attorney's fees must be determined with reference to relative financial positions of the parties. 71 CA 744. Award of attorney's fees is within discretion of trial court. 72 CA 408. Award of attorney's fees in contempt proceeding is punitive in nature and court may consider defendant's behavior as an additional factor in determining both the necessity of awarding such fees and the proper amount of the award. 110 CA 798.

      Agreement of parties to submit to arbitration cannot deprive court of jurisdiction to issue contempt order prescribed by statute. 36 CS 266.


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      Sec. 46b-87a. Forms and instructions for application for contempt order based on violation of visitation order. The Office of the Chief Court Administrator shall prepare forms, including instructions in plain language, for applying to the court for a contempt citation based upon a violation of a visitation order or for modification of a visitation order and shall make such forms available to litigants.

      (P.A. 92-253, S. 10.)

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      Sec. 46b-88. National Medical Support Notice. Duties of issuing agency, employer and administrator of group health plan. (a) For the purposes of this section:

      (1) "Issuing agency" means an agency providing child support enforcement services, as defined in subsection (b) of section 46b-231, and includes the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services and Support Enforcement Services within Judicial Branch Court Operations; and

      (2) "NMSN" means the National Medical Support Notice required under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act used by state child support agencies to enforce health care coverage support provisions in child support orders.

      (b) (1) Whenever a court or family support magistrate enters a support order in a Title IV-D support case, as defined in subsection (b) of section 46b-231, that requires a noncustodial parent to provide employment-based health care coverage for a child, and the noncustodial parent's employer is known to the issuing agency, such agency shall enforce the health care coverage provisions of the order through the use of a NMSN. The issuing agency may also use the NMSN to enforce provisions of the support order requiring the custodial parent to provide employment-based health coverage for the child.

      (2) In addition to other notice and requirements contained therein, the NMSN shall serve as notice to the employer that: (A) The employee is obligated to provide employment-based health care coverage for the child; (B) the employer may be required to withhold any employee contributions required by the group health plan or plans in which the child is eligible to be enrolled; and (C) the employer is required to forward the NMSN to the administrator of each group health plan providing such coverage for enrollment determination purposes.

      (3) In addition to other notice requirements contained therein, the NMSN shall serve as notice to the group health plan that: (A) Receipt of the NMSN from an employer constitutes receipt of a medical support order; and (B) an appropriately completed NMSN constitutes a qualified medical child support order for health care coverage enrollment purposes.

      (4) In any case in which the noncustodial parent is a newly hired employee, the NMSN shall be transferred by the issuing agency to the employer no later than two business days after the date of the entry of the employee in the State Directory of New Hires established under section 31-254, together with any necessary income withholding notice.

      (c) (1) An employer who receives a NMSN from the issuing agency shall: (A) No later than twenty business days, after the date of NMSN, either (i) return the notice to such agency indicating why the health care coverage is not available, or (ii) transfer the notice to the administrator of each appropriate group health plan for which the child may be eligible; (B) upon notification from any such group health plan that the child is eligible for enrollment, withhold from the employee's income any employee contribution required under such plan and send the withheld payments directly to the plan, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section; and (C) notify the issuing agency whenever the employee's employment terminates. (2) Any employer who discharges an employee from employment, refuses to employ, or takes disciplinary action against an employee because of a medical child support withholding, or fails to withhold income or transmit withheld income to the group health plan as required by the NMSN shall be subject to the penalties related to employer processing of child support income withholding, as provided in subsections (f) and (j) of section 52-362. (3) The issuing agency shall notify the employer promptly when there is no longer a current order for medical support.

      (d) The NMSN shall inform the employer of the duration of the withholding requirement, of any limitations on withholding prescribed by federal or state law, and of any withholding priorities that apply when available income is insufficient to satisfy all cash and medical support obligations. A withholding for medical support obligations shall take priority over all support obligations other than current child and spousal support. The employer shall notify the issuing agency when any such withholding limitations or priorities prevent the employer from withholding the amount required to obtain coverage under the group health plan for which the child is otherwise eligible.

      (e) (1) The administrator of a group health plan who receives a NMSN from an employer pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall deem the NMSN to be a "qualified medical child support order" and an application by the issuing agency for enrollment of the child. Enrollment of the child may not be denied because the child: (A) Was born out of wedlock, (B) is not claimed as a dependent on the participant's federal income tax return, (C) does not reside with the participant or in the plan's service area, or (D) is receiving benefits or is eligible for benefits under a state medical assistance plan required by the Social Security Act. An enrollment shall be made without regard to open season enrollment restrictions, and if enrollment of a child is dependent on the enrollment of a participant who is not enrolled, both the child and the participant shall be enrolled. (2) No later than forty business days after the date of the NMSN the plan administrator shall notify the issuing agency whether coverage is available or, if necessary, of the steps to be taken to begin such coverage. The administrator shall also provide to the custodial parent a description of the coverage available and of any forms or documents necessary to begin coverage. The issuing agency, in consultation with the custodial parent, shall promptly select from any available plan options when necessary. Upon completion of enrollment, the group health plan administrator shall return the NMSN to the employer for a determination of whether any necessary employee contributions are available.

      (f) A NMSN issued pursuant to this section shall be deemed part of the court order requiring employment-based health care coverage. The NMSN shall have the same force and effect as a court order directed to an employer or group health plan administrator and may be enforced by the court or family support magistrate in the same manner as an order of the court or family support magistrate. The requirements imposed on employers and group health plan administrators under this section and the NMSN shall be in addition to any requirements imposed on said employer or administrator under other provisions of the general statutes.

      (May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 38; P.A. 07-247, S. 8, 9.)

      History: P.A. 07-247 amended Subsec. (b)(1) by providing that issuing agency may use NMSN to enforce provisions of support order requiring custodial parent to provide employment-based health coverage for the child and amended Subsec. (d) by specifying that withholding order for medical support obligations takes priority over all support obligations other than current child support and spousal support.

      See Sec. 17b-745 re court orders for support of persons supported by state.

      See Sec. 38a-497a re group coverage and benefits of a noncustodial parent.

      See Sec. 46b-84 re parents' obligation for maintenance of minor child.

      See Sec. 46b-171 re judgment and order of court or family support magistrate.

      See Sec. 46b-215 re relatives obliged to furnish support.


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      Sec. 46b-89. Reserved for future use.

      Note: Chapters 815k to 815n, inclusive, are also reserved for future use.

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