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Hartford Divorce Law Blog

Is it possible to settle property division out of court?

It is safe to say that no one ever wants to go to court for any reason. This is so in family law cases just as much as it is in criminal cases. Going to court for property division and other matters takes away your time, causes emotional distress and may delay the divorce decree. As such, anytime spouses can agree on the terms of divorce between each other, it should be considered a win.

While difficult, a divorcing couple can create a property division agreement outside of the Connecticut family law court system. In nearly all cases, the couple will have to work together to reach this agreement. Often, childless couples may have a better chance of success than couples with children do because they typically have fewer conflicts. However, even if a couple has trouble cooperating, it may still be possible to address property division outside of court.

Mistakes to avoid in a high asset divorce

All divorces come with the risk of making mistakes. However, in a high asset divorce, avoiding mistakes can make all the difference in one party receiving a fair settlement. The problem for many Connecticut residents is that they do not know what a mistake is and what is not a mistake. This is especially true for those who have never experienced a divorce.

Learning more about divorcing with wealth and valuable property can help you avoid making mistakes that could leave you with an unfair property settlement. Choosing an attorney with experience handling high asset divorces is your first line of defense. In the meantime, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common mistakes people make in high asset divorces.

  • Failure to look for hidden assets your spouse may be withholding
  • Letting revenge or anger cloud your judgment
  • Agreeing to a settlement just to get the divorce over with
  • Failure to consider debts as well as assets
  • Hiring a lawyer without a proper consultation
  • Failure to understand tax implications

An example of the child protection system failure

Residents in the Hartford region shared shock and disgust when it learned that a small boy placed in a home by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) nearly starved to death. The entire situation is too complex to detail here, but some of the important facts are listed below, according to news sources:

  • The then-18-month-old child and four siblings were removed from the mother's custody for safety reasons.
  • DCF assigned child custody of the toddler to a family member.
  • Five months later, the boy was brought to a hospital severely malnourished.
  • The child also suffered from bruises, scrapes, broken bones and was withdrawn.
  • The boy's mother said in court that she has complied with DCF's requirements and wants her children back.
  • It is unclear whether DCF social workers ever followed up with the placement or checked on the child's welfare.
  • The social worker assigned to the boy was fired.
  • All of the mother's children had their own lawyers during the trial.
  • The injured child, now 3 years old, still suffers from digestive issues and other health issues.

Reportedly, all of the kids are now happy and healthy in their current foster care placements. Citing mood swings, inconsistent coping skills, spotty mental-health programs and work attendance, DCF made it clear during the trial that child custody should not be returned to the mother. The judge will deliver a written ruling about whether the parents rights should be terminated in 120 days.

Consider changing the way you perceive child custody

Even though we are attorneys who are committed to the law and to the preservation of family, we believe that the legal aspects of child custody can complicate matters in some cases. This does not mean we think that parents in the midst of child custody proceedings should not seek legal assistance. On the contrary, we believe attorney representation protects parents and children alike in all matters related to divorce.

Any life circumstance handled by way of the legal system can alter the perspective of all involved parties. For example, viewing child custody decisions through a "legal lens" could take the focus away from what is most important, which is the children. Parents may become distracted and lose sight of what meets the best interests of their kids. Instead, the issue becomes a matter of which parent wins and which parent loses.

Can a Connecticut child support order include college expenses?

Parents everywhere know that just because children reach the age of maturity, it does not necessarily mean they no longer require financial support. Like other states, the age of maturity in Connecticut is 18 and most people at this age are able to work and become self-sufficient. However, if a mature child attends college, especially on a full-time basis, they may need parental help in paying for these expenses.

In many cases, the two divorcing parents can create a child support agreement outside of the courts that covers higher education. Often, this is the ideal way to address college expenses if both parents are able to agree. In the absence of such an agreement, Connecticut family law courts can also address college expenses.

Simple advice for the man who needs spousal support

Despite how the modern world views male and female roles in a marriage, alimony is one thing most men refuse to request in a divorce. Many men feel ashamed to consider alimony, or they may feel like a failure as a man who is supposed to be successful and self-sufficient. Unfortunately, the negative connotations associated with male alimony have left many a Connecticut man in dire financial straits after divorce.

The truth is, many men not only qualify for spousal support, they need it to survive and begin life anew. Our family law attorneys have provided the following example for you to consider.

What does community and noncommunity property really mean?

Aside from issues concerning children, property division is one of the most complicated elements of divorce. It is also a massive source of conflict for many couples getting divorced. Many times, this conflict arises because each spouse is concerned that the other will come out ahead. Regardless of the reason, ongoing conflict can become fuel for an all-out battle.

It can help to understand more about property division, including the way your state approaches the issue. Connecticut is one of the many equitable distribution states, which means that courts attempt to divide property in a fair manner. You should know that this does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split. A judge may award more of the couple's assets to the lesser-earning spouse, for example.

Many experts believe sharing child custody is best for kids

This may come as no surprise to Connecticut parents who already share child custody, but experts are now saying it is nearly always the best option for children. Despite this, mothers are still most often awarded full custody of the kids with fathers only getting a small amount of parenting time.

Why does this inequity still exist in modern times? According to child experts like professor of adolescent and educational psychology, Linda Nielson, many courts still believe that conflict between parents is harmful to children. Nielson, on the other hand, believes differently and has a study's findings to strengthen her case.

Child support order modifications in Connecticut

It is safe to say that most divorced parents in Connecticut live in a fluid financial state, meaning that circumstances can change at a moment's notice. The law addresses these sometimes-changing situations by allowing parents to modify court orders such as child support. This allows parents to continue working together to support their children while also giving one or both parents a chance to improve their situations.

Many of our clients do not know that they can request a child support order modification from the court. They mistakenly believe that they are locked into their original court orders until their kids are adults. While the court will not grant child support modifications on a whim, it will grant them if the circumstances warrant the changes.

Connecticut ranks 18th for overall happiness level

While the United States divorce rate has been stated as around 50 percent of all marriages, there are some areas of the country that have fewer divorces than others. While the reasons for fewer divorces may not be obvious, one thing that you can see is where people are living when they have fewer divorces. Interestingly, Connecticut is a state where fewer divorces take place.

Thanks to its low divorce rate and other statistics, Connecticut has hit the news as a state ranked among the happiest in the United States. There were many factors that went into the research that showed each state's happiness level. After considering them all, Connecticut came out in the top 20.

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