Sunday, October 2, 2011

Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 6: Summary of Connecticut Laws

Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 6: Summary of Connecticut Laws

Adultery:

Due to the absence of laws regarding adultery, except as a stated reason for divorce (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011a), Connecticut possesses no liability for swingers and open relationships, and reduced liability for polyamorists and polyfidelitists.

Bigamy:

Connecticut bigamy laws are unfortunately not as non-mono friendly as the absent adultery laws. Possessing a purportation clause (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011h), polyamorists and polyfidelitists must be cautious about how they present their relationship publicly, as giving the impression of more than one marriage could put multiple members of the family under liability. As bigamy is considered, in Connecticut, to be a class D felony (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011h), liability for it is imprisonment of 1-5 years, and/or a fine of up to $5,000 (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011b; Connecticut State Legislature, 2011d). Class D felonies do not have escalating punishments for repeat offences (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011c).

Though Connecticut doesn’t have a solicitation law per say, the conspiracy law can cover the same activity in Connecticut (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011e). In attempt and conspiracy Connecticut is fairly standard-fair, which could open up potential liability for bigamy beyond the family itself (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011e; Connecticut State Legislature, 2011f). Attempt and conspiracy for bigamy would also be considered a class D felony (Connecticut State Legislature, 2011g).

Cross-Relation between the Laws:

With the absence of adultery laws, but potent bigamy laws, Connecticut lacks liability for swingers and open relationships, but could have liability for polyamorous and polyfidelitous relationships. As standard for purportation clauses with bigamy, the appearance of a bigamous marriage is enough to engender liability, and enough to extend that liability to anyone assisting in that appearance. This is, however, the extent of liability under Connecticut law.

Non-monogamous Strategies:

With purportation a part of Connecticut’s bigamy law, things such as co-habitation, ceremonial marriage, and references to ‘husband,’ ‘wife,’ and other marriage related labels, should be minimized when at all possible. Since that liability also extends to those who assist in these activities, associations should be minimized as much as possible in these activities as to not potentially fall under conspiracy laws.

In avoiding the appearance of multiple marriages, and the actuality of multiple marriages, polyamorists and polyfidelitists can enjoy the same lack of liability as swingers and open relationships.

References

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011a). Grounds for dissolution of marriage; legal separation; annulment. (Connecticut Statute 46b-40). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011b). Imprisonment for a felony committed on or after July 1, 1981: Definite sentences: Authorized term. (Connecticut Statute 53a-35a). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011c). Persistent offenders: Definitions; defense; authorized sentences; procedures. (Connecticut Statute 53a-40). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011d). Fines for felonies. (Connecticut Statute 53a-41). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011e). Conspiracy: Renunciation. (Connecticut Statute 53a-48). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011f). Criminal attempt; sufficiency of conduct; renunciation as defense. (Connecticut Statute 53a-49). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011g). Classification of attempt and conspiracy. (Connecticut Statute 53a-51). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

Connecticut State Legislature. (2011h). Bigamy: Class D felony. (Connecticut Statute 53a-190). Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Legislature.

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