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Divorce settlements not as easy as they look

Stephanie Ollie, wife of Connecticut Huskies coach Kevin Ollie, filed for a divorce in November after 16 years of marriage. Both parties agreed that the marriage was over with no possibility of reconciliation. Papers filed show they are seeking joint custody of their two teenage children, child and spousal support for Stephanie Ollie and equal division of their property.

Although requests may seem simple and clear, it can be complex depending upon the state laws. Some states are known as community property states where property is generally divided equally between each spouse. Connecticut, however, where Kevin Ollie and his former wife reside, is a equitable distribution state where a judge will decide what is fair when it comes to equal division of the Ollie's property. As far as receiving joint custody, the courts generally will award this without concern if neither spouse disputes it.

When it comes to child and spousal alimony, Connecticut courts determine the amount awarded on an individual basis. The court system will look at all assets and sources of income to arrive at a fair determination. They will also consider special circumstances such as one spouse suddenly having to look for work after staying at home to care for the children.

Filing for a divorce and going through the settlement process can become difficult when couples or the state do not agree on what is fair. An experienced divorce attorney can work with clients and help them understand what the state requires and determines how property is divided and the amount of support a spouse receives.

Source: ESPN, "Kevin Ollie's wife files for divorce", Jan. 2, 2015

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