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Hartford Divorce Law Blog

Tax reform may mean more 2018 divorces

Connecticut doesn't have the highest number of divorces when compared against other states. Only 10.6 percent of the population are divorced according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But if couples in Connecticut are contemplating divorces, their attorneys may advise them to do it before the end of 2018.

Why? Because the new tax reform includes changes to how alimony payments are treated at tax time; however, those changes will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2019. Those who are already paying alimony will see no changes by the new alimony tax laws when they come into affect.

Parenting with your ex

Parenting with your ex can be a good thing, and unless you have had a really bitter divorce, you could probably make it happen. However, it might take some effort. Here's how one couple does it.

The couple has one son, and when they divorced, they agreed that in an effort to put their son first, they would do their best to get along when it came to parenting. Mom claims that it is an "ongoing conversation" and can sometimes be frustrating, but they are both working on it for their child.

More divorce cases are filed in January

It may not be surprising that the month with the lowest number of divorce cases filed is December. This is when everyone is busy in a frenzy of activities, holiday shopping and family get-togethers.

Who has time to think about a divorce? Research done by the Institute for Family Studies indicates that the highest number of divorce cases are filed the month after the holidays, in January.

Divorce is not all about the adults

When couples make a decision to divorce, it is usually about the adults. Once the decision is made, thinking about how it will affect the children usually comes next.

Most people will tell you that it is not healthy for children when parents stay together if they no longer love one another. But there are many couples who have done just that and put divorce on hold until their children were grown and out of the house. While that seems like a selfless decision to make, if it means the children's security will be preserved, and the home is a healthy, respectful environment, it may be worth the investment.

If it was yours when you married, do you get it if you divorce?

In Connecticut, there is no such thing as separate property if you are married. If you owned a house or property when you got married, your spouse is now a partner in that ownership. If you decide to divorce, how will the house be divided?

You and your soon-to-be ex could agree to sell the family home and divide the proceeds. But if selling the home is not an option, and the two of you have not agreed on a martial settlement, the judge will make the decision for you.

When a child support order is not working

Child support in Connecticut is figured using a child support calculator. The calculator uses both parents' income, the number of children involved and the amount of time each parent has the children. It then runs a mathematical calculation to determine the amounts owed. The smaller parental amount is deducted from the largest, and the remainder is the child support still owed by the other parent.

That sounds simple enough, but there are factors that can make it more complex and less fair. For instance, what if you don't have any income? The court may estimate your income based on your prior work history or what they believe you are able to earn, which may be the minimum wage for a fulltime job. Expecting you will find a job and be able to pay the calculated amounts, the child support order can go into effect.

Who pays alimony in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, either spouse may be ordered to pay alimony depending on his or her circumstances. Alimony is granted on a case-by-case basis. It is not guaranteed in any divorce.

There are three types of alimony that may be ordered. "Temporary" alimony may be ordered before the actual divorce decree. This award is usually ordered to sustain one spouse's livelihood during the separation period.

Where does Connecticut rate in amicable divorces?

Divorces can often be nasty, confrontational disputes between two people who once pledged to love each other forever. Life events can happen that create such pain and emotional heartache that the same two people can end up despising each other.

In high asset divorces, asset and property division can be complex. A divorce may drag out for months or even years while attorneys attempt to negotiate an equitable division for each party.

Custody battle ensues between Jennifer Hudson and ex-fiancé

Jennifer Hudson, from "The Voice," and her ex-fiancé, David Otunga, have called it quits. Although the couple never married, but remained engaged for nine years, they have an 8-year-old son, David Jr., who is about to be caught in a custody battle, it appears. Otunga, a former wrestler, says he intends to fight for primary custody of their child.

Hudson, who returned back to work this week at The Voice," has filed for a restraining order against Otunga. The order was granted. Allegedly, the couple's breakup has been in the works for several months. According to Otunga's attorney, the former wrestler has tried to negotiate a parental agreement with Hudson, and her Petition for Order of Protection is meritless. However, according to a rep for Hudson, the singer is only acting in the best interests of the child.

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.

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