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Connecticut Family Law Blog

Dealing with child custody problems in Connecticut

To say that divorce is sad is an understatement. When a marriage breaks down for whatever reason in Connecticut, it means the family dynamic also changes. If the couple has children, child custody issues come into play, and they, too, aren't always without problems. Co-parenting in two different households can be overwhelming, not only for the parents but for the children, too.

But when parents both decide to put their children's best interests first before anything else, things may go much smoother than if they try to outdo each other. When a parent has physical custody of a child, it means the child lives with that parent most of the time. Legal custody refers to the parent who has the authority to make legal decisions for the child, such as health decisions, where the child goes to school, etc. Many parents may want joint physical custody, but they have to ask themselves if that is what's best for the child.

Family law: Divorced parents and disciplining children

Raising children can be hard even when both parents are living in the same household. But when parents are divorced and the kids are shuffled between two abodes, issues surrounding discipline may crop up. Even if Connecticut parents have issues between themselves, when they put those on the back burner and focus on their children's best interests, it may be much easier to co-parent using family law guidelines, and that includes what to do when it comes to correcting children's untoward behavior.

Discipline often gets relegated to the end of the line when parents are competing with each other for their children's affection. Children aren't stupid and they may catch on how to play a parent to get what they want. Once parents realize this may be happening, they can put a stop to it by coordinating their parenting efforts. It is never all right to criticize the other parent's disciplinary actions in front of a child. This is something parents should discuss in private.

Breastfeeding could play a role in child custody in Connecticut

If a couple with a young child or baby splits up, there may be an added factor to consider when it comes to the child. If the woman is breastfeeding the baby and child custody is such that the parents share co-parenting and custody, mom may become worried how her baby may fare being separated from her for lengthy periods. It's important that Connecticut couples with this issue understand each other and try to do what's best for the infant, especially when the dad may think that his former spouse is using breastfeeding as a means of keeping his child from him.

When parents can iron out a solution to this issue on their own rather than involving the courts, it may be better for all concerned, especially for the baby. Pumping breast milk may be a solution or if the child is old enough, he or she might be weaned. In any case, separation from the mother should never be forced if the child is to grow up emotionally healthy. 

This app apparently can help to make divorce less painful

There seems to be an app for everything these days, so why not one to make breaking up less painful? Well, there is that. Connecticut couples who have made the decision to divorce might want to check out Amicable. This app  touts itself as a one-stop shop for divorce, childcare and financial arrangements.

This digital divorce coach says it can help users through tough, emotional times. Essentially, developers of the app say it can whittle down time-consuming processes that could take up to nine months to about six weeks -- things like processing and converting legal documents. The app also claims it can help couples to iron out differences and come to amicable (hence the app's name) resolutions.

Talking to your kids about divorce

Facing divorce with children is rarely easy, especially if your children enjoy a positive relationship with both parents. For many parents, the difficulty of not knowing how to approach the matter with their children serves to postpone divorce and makes it that much more difficult than it has to be when the time does eventually come to discuss it with the children.

If you have concerns about how to talk to your children about divorce, you are not alone. This is a normal response that many parents experience as they come to terms with an imminent divorce. The good news, however, is that you do have tools available to help you approach the topic, and with some careful planning you can present divorce to your children in a way that minimizes the hurt and confusion that they may feel.

Should a Connecticut couple actually celebrate their divorce?

As little as 40 years ago, a couple splitting up was talked about it hush-hush tones. Today, albeit sadly, divorce is pretty common and doesn't have the stigma attached to it like it once did. In fact, there are some people -- in Connecticut as well -- who actually celebrate their new-found freedom by having a divorce party. It can also be a way for them to pay homage to the marriage, no matter how long it lasted.

Ceremonies and rituals have always been a part of the human condition -- whether it has been to celebrate a beginning or an ending. So, why should divorce be any different? If the couple parted amicably and are still friends, they may even choose to host such an event together. It may be a way for the couple to express to their friends that both of them want those friendships to remain and they don't have to take sides.

Children feel the effects of divorce into adulthood

It doesn't matter how old children are, when their parents split up -- it's hard and it hurts. Divorce of parents is something Connecticut children, along with all kids, may carry with them their entire lives. In fact, the author of a book about adult children of divorce says she was shocked to learn, during her research, that many children carry that pain into adulthood even if their parents had so-called good divorces.

Many adults of divorced parents have unexpressed feelings from trying to keep both parents happy. Add to that the feelings of abandonment and many adults in this boat wrestle with unresolved issues for the rest of their lives. Children of divorce are expected to accept reality and move forward with some type of closure, especially if their parents remarry and start new families.They also try to come to terms with the feeling that they no longer belong to a real family, which carries into adulthood as well.

How Connecticut parents can help their kids through divorce

Giving divorce news to children can be heartbreaking. But as difficult as that is likely to be, it's important that both parents in Connecticut to share the burden together even if they find it nearly impossible to be in the same room with each other. Having both parents tell them about the divorce is what's best for the children. Telling them plainly and simply and without malice so they will understand is the best bet. Simply saying that mom and dad can't live in the same house anymore may be all that's needed for a child to get it. 

Kids need to know they're not to blame for their parents splitting up. They need to know they're still loved and that both parents will be there for them if that is indeed the case. Putting children of the middle of any squabbles is not fair to them, nor is it emotionally healthy. Not keeping kids in the dark about the changes they will be going through is one way of helping them to cope and to come to terms with their soon-to-be new lifestyle.

Helping Connecticut kids get through divorce on a positive note

Children often bear the heaviest stress when their parents split up. Divorce is neither pleasant nor easy for any family members who are involved. But there may be things Connecticut parents can do to make the transition to living life in two households easier for kids. Helping children to adjust may also help parents to do the same for themselves.

As many as 50 percent of all children under the age of 18 will be affected by divorce. So, they may be able to find camaraderie in their peers when dealing with the ramifications which may be unsettling for them. Parents can minimize the psychological impacts divorce can have on their kids by encouraging communication and allowing their children to express their feelings, whether they be anger, sadness, guilt or any other emotions.

Family law: At what point can a child be left at home alone?

Leaving a child at home alone may make a parent's heart race. Family law rules in Connecticut and other states make it clear that there is an appropriate age to leave children at home alone for short periods of time. Authorities in all areas agree that kids age 7 or younger should never be left alone and always need supervision. In most other respects much hinges on the maturity level of the child(ren).

There are some guidelines, however. For instance, children between the ages of 8 and 10 shouldn't be left for more than an hour-and-a-half and never during later evening hours. Kids between the ages of 11 and 12 can generally stay alone for about three hours, but again not during late night. Children 13 to 15 can be left unsupervised, although not overnight, while those from 16 to 17 may be left unsupervised usually up to two consecutive overnight stretches.

We Listen, We Help, We Care

  • Thank you Jennifer for handling my divorce. Everything is going well. Get to spend lots of time so far with my boys that makes me happy. Thanks to you again; I wish you and your firm lots of success from this day forward. All the best.
  • Wendy helped guide us through a very difficult and emotional process and was really able to provide an even and fair account for both parties. It's quite evident in her expertise in this area but the way she was able to make you feel safe and secure in a very insecure time goes far beyond her legal prowess. If the two parties are really willing to cooperate and collaborate, she's there to help gain the best possible solution for all involved, especially if there are children.
  • Regardless of how committed one is to the fact that divorce may be imminent and necessary, it is truly one of the most emotional and stressful situations one can experience. It can also be daunting. Wendy has a remarkable ability to cut through the noise and help you focus on the big picture while drilling down on what is most pertinent to your particular situation., they are a formidable team who work collectively with your best interests in mind.
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