PA 15-214—HB 7003

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE VALIDITY OF MARRIAGES

SUMMARY: This act provides that a marriage is not presumed invalid or bigamous because one party's prior divorce, which was legally entered in another state or country, does not meet Connecticut's jurisdictional requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

Connecticut Divorces and Recognition of Out-of-State Divorce Judgments

A number of requirements govern dissolution of marriage proceedings. To obtain a divorce decree from a Connecticut court, at least one party must be a state resident (CGS 46b-40 et seq. ).

Divorce judgments from other states are enforceable in Connecticut if both parties entered an appearance in the other state's court proceeding and the judgment does not contravene Connecticut's public policy (CGS 46b-70 et seq. ).

Connecticut courts recognize divorce judgments from other countries as a matter of comity (i. e. , respect for foreign courts rather than as a legal obligation). But, courts do not recognize them under certain circumstances, such as when the foreign court did not have jurisdiction or did not provide the parties with due process. Jurisdiction generally requires a party to be living in that country at the time of the decree (Juma v. Aomo, 143 Conn. App. 51 (2013), citing Litvaitis v. Litvaitis, 162 Conn. 540 (1972)).

OLR Tracking: CR; KS; PF; BS