Constructive abandonment, if established, can be serious grounds for divorce in many states throughout the United States. This is no less true in the state of Connecticut, a state with a developed set of case precedents concerned with such matters. The bulk of these precedent-setting trials occurred in the 1940s and 50s and still influence the reading and interpretation of related state laws in the 21st Century. However, the legal name for constructive abandonment is slightly altered in Connecticut.
In the terminology of Connecticut law, constructive abandonment is referred to instead as constructive desertion. This is a mechanism found within many states' "fault" divorce laws; when one party of the marriage behaves in such a way as to justify the other party seeking a divorce as opposed to it being a mutually agreed-upon action. In general terms, constructive desertion occurs when one of the spouses engages in a behavior that forces the other spouse to quit the union. In Connecticut, it is not necessary for that behavior to be proved as intentional in order to commence divorce proceedings.
The Connecticut Supreme Court draws a principal precedent for constructive desertion from the 1944 case of "Finn vs. Finn." The ruling concluded that constructive desertion could be confidently identified if, after three consecutive years, the spouse at fault exhibited no indication that they would stop the problematic behavior instigating the divorce. In the ensuing 1950 case of Lindquist vs. Lindquist, the Connecticut courts outlined constructive desertion as a situation where considerable anguish was caused the affected party, describing it as when "one spouse intentionally brings cohabitation to an end by misconduct that renders the continuance of marital relations so unbearable that the other leaves the family home."
In many jurisdictions, a primary cause for constructive desertion is the stoppage or refusal of continued sexual relations by one of the spouses. This however, is where the language of the law in Connecticut is not so clear. In the 1942 case of McCurry v. McCurry, refusal of sexual intercourse itself was not sufficient to claim desertion. Yet in the 1942 precedent of Baccash v. Baccash, the courts decided that desertion could be cited if misconduct on the spouse's part was grievous enough to "defeat the essential purpose of the marriage relation." While not specifically stated, there seems little doubt that sexual access constitutes at least some measure of that "essential purpose."
For further information and for exact legal code, consult Section 2.2 of the state of Connecticut's divorce statues that pertains to willful desertion. 46b-40 of the state's general statutes concern those specific items that can incur marriage dissolution, legal separation and even annulment---of which constructive desertion is included. Of course, if you need formal advice on how the law applies to your particular situation, the best provider will undoubtedly be a qualified Connecticut divorce attorney.