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Connecticut Family Law Blog

Separating finances in a Connecticut divorce

During a marriage, many Connecticut couples combine their assets and earning power. This often works well as long as the couples remain together. In the event of a divorce, all of those financial moves meant for two need to be separated.

It may be beneficial to separate and/or pay off some accounts and other finances prior to filing for divorce. For instance, if a couple has joint credit cards, it may help to either separate the accounts or pay them off ahead of time. The fewer debts that the parties have after the divorce, the better the chances of starting a new life on better financial footing. 

Know the child custody lingo: Legal custody

When Connecticut parents decide to end their marriages, they face numerous decisions and challenges when it comes to their children. Without an understanding of the lingo they will hear, it might be difficult to make informed decisions. One definition regarding child custody that many mistake for physical custody is legal custody.

Most Connecticut parents can guess that physical custody relates to where the children will live. Legal custody, on the other hand, is something different. This type of custody deals with the rights of each or both parents to make decisions that will affect the lives of the children.

When it comes to child custody proceedings, many options exist

When it comes to divorce, Connecticut residents need to make any number of decisions. Some may say that those decisions are easier than the ones that need to be made when it comes to child custody. After all, the choices parents make now could make the transition from one household to two easier or more unsettling. Of course, the experience is rarely ever without at least some stress, but the steps parents take at this point could either increase or decrease it.

Choosing the right custody arrangement for the whole family may not always be easy or popular with everyone involved. If Connecticut parents agree on a type of custody, they may work together toward a mutually satisfying custody arrangement. If they disagree, they could end up with the court making the choice.

Three tips to keep your retirement plan on track after a divorce

Retirement is the carrot at the end of the stick. We work hard for decades and create a wonderful dream of what we will do during our sunset years. If not handled properly, a divorce can throw these plans off their tracks. Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to avoid any setbacks in your retirement plans. Three specific tips include:

Take control of your divorce with the collaborative process

One of the strongest feelings that many Connecticut residents feel when their marriages end is a loss of control. The traditional courtroom process of divorce does not do anything to alleviate that feeling, either. However, you could take advantage of another way to divorce that lets you stay in control of your destiny -- the collaborative process.

Maintaining control of the results is just one benefit you receive. A collaborative divorce often takes less time and money when compared to going to court. Confidentiality is another benefit that not only allows you and your soon-to-be former spouse some privacy, but you can also spare your children, if any, from watching their parents go through a contentious courtroom process.

Dealing with family law issues prior to marriage

Whether you own a business, a home or other substantial assets prior to marriage, you may find yourself considering a prenuptial agreement. Dealing with some Connecticut family law issues before you get married could provide you with peace of mind. In addition, even though contemplating divorce as you prepare for your wedding might not be romantic, it does help prevent problems in the future if the marriage does not last.

Without a prenuptial agreement, proving to the court that a certain asset is separate property could be problematic. Even if a portion of a separate asset could be considered part of the marital estate, identifying it as separate property in a prenuptial agreement can make that task much easier. In addition, if you go the extra step of valuing some assets such as a business or home at the time of the prenuptial agreement's execution, an important part of determining any marital portion is already done.

When circumstances change after an initial child custody order

No matter what happens in a Connecticut couple's relationship, if they have children together, they will always be bound to each other. The parental bond does not go away simply because a couple does not remain together. During the divorce proceedings, decisions regarding child custody arrangements will need to be made that usually allow each parent to continue to be a part of the children's lives.

Courts here in Connecticut and elsewhere base their custody decisions on the best interests of the children. In reaching a decision that meets this requirement, judges consider numerous factors. They also consider the desires of the parents and the children -- if the kids are old or mature enough to make a decision.

What does an equitable distribution of assets in a divorce mean?

One of the main concerns of many Connecticut residents who are ending their marriages is what happens to their property. They might have heard that this is an equitable distribution state, but may not know what that means. Not having at least a working understanding of how property is divided in a divorce can cause unnecessary stress and frustration.

The first task is to determine what property is considered to be separately owned by each spouse, if any, and what property is considered joint, or marital, property. If a couple is relying on a Connecticut court to make such determinations, proof will need to be provided before a decision is made. Some property is assumed to be separate such as inheritances, but if those funds or assets are commingled, that could change things. Thereafter, the task of determining how to divide the marital property begins.

Issues surrounding your children before and after your divorce

Many Connecticut parents think that the end of their marriage affects them the most. However, in most cases, it is the children and their issues in the divorce that end up taking center stage. Once dividing the marital assets and alimony are addressed, parents must turn their attentions to custody and child support. These issues often require parental attention well after the divorce is final.

That is because as children grow and financial circumstances change, the issues of child custody and child support may require modifications. The orders entered at the time of the divorce represent a moment in time. This may work for dividing your property and establishing some support, if necessary, but when it comes to the ongoing needs of the children, a momentary snapshot is often not enough to cover the future.

Mediation versus litigation: What's the difference?

Mediation and litigation are two legal processes that can serve useful in a variety of disputes. Both are available for divorce.

Mediation is a process that is designed to encourage each party to negotiate a settlement that will work best for their unique situation. Litigation, in contrast, is a process that involves a court reviewing the case and making a determination for the couple. There are pros and cons to each. As such, it is wise for couples that are moving forward with a divorce to consider both options.

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