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Connecticut Family Law Blog

The many potential roles of counseling in your divorce with kids

Ending a marriage can be a difficult time, but it is even more complicated for people with children. Not only do you have to worry about splitting up your assets and changing your life, but you also have to think about how every decision you make will impact your children.

From whether they can stay in the same school to how much time you get to spend with them on important days, there are so many concerns that parents need to consider during a divorce that it is easy to overlook the emotional needs of the children.

Child custody when parents were never married

When parents divorce or separate, it is likely their children will be affected most of all. When it comes to issues of child custody in Connecticut, disputes could also arise between parents who were never married, but who are no longer in an intimate relationship. Custody matters need to be ironed out in these situations as well and sometimes they can involve grandparents and other relatives, too.

Most states will award sole custody to the mother when their parents were never married, though it is not automatic and the father has every right to pursue custody when circumstances warrant. An unwed father usually isn't awarded custody, though it is certainly possible. He can seek legal counsel if he wishes to obtain custody and/or parenting time with his children. As with parents who are divorcing, child custody and parenting time arrangements can be ironed out between the unmarried parents or by a family court judge who will look at what is in the best interests of the children.

August popular with Connecticut residents to decide to divorce

Many people get that free and easy feeling in summer months. That may or may not be the reason that this time of year is when many people decide to divorce. With kids out of school for summer and vacations in high gear, Connecticut couples seem to be able to make the decision to end their marriages in the heat of the season since thoughts of divorce peak in the summertime.

There are two months when people file most often for divorce - March and August. Research shows that this is not a one-off, but has been happening for years. Experts believe that during these months couples get the opportunity to spend more time together and with that often comes the realization that things just aren't working out. Lawyers suggest couples begin planning for divorce months before actually making the final decision and filing to end their marriages.

Child custody: Missing woman's mother gets custody of her kids

A 50-year-old woman has been missing for months now. Her mother has been granted child custody of her five children and their father -- who has been estranged from the woman for two years -- has been arrested in connection with her disappearance in May. The story has garnered much media attention in Connecticut where the woman resided. 

The couple married in 2004 and the missing woman filed for divorce in June 2017. The children's grandmother, who was recently awarded formal custody, has been caring for the children. They have lived with her in a neighboring state since her daughter's disappearance. The court says the children are emotionally bonded to their maternal grandmother and awarding her custody was in their best interests.

Family law: Latest child support stats released

The latest child support statistics have been released by the U.S. Census Bureau and they show how many single parents receive support, how many funds are owed and how many of those funds are actually received by payees. Connecticut family law oversees child support payments in the state. Resident payors and payees figure in the overall statistics collected by the bureau.

There are more than 13 million custodial parents living in the country and more than 48% of them are receiving some sort of child support payments. Fewer than 23% have requested government assistance for help to support their children. Stats show that the average amount of child support received in 2013 was $5,774 or less than $500 per month. Only a little better than 65% of those payments were actually received by the payees.

Reality star claims ex is lying amid child custody battle

Connecticut parents might be in a situation where they do not get along with one another. Reality star Kathryn Dennis, a staple on the show "Southern Charm," is in the same boat. She claims that her ex-husband will stop at nothing to ruin her reputation amid their current child custody battle. 

Ms. Dennis admits that she once sought treatment for substance abuse issues, during which time her ex-husband was awarded custody of the former couple's two children. Kathryn says she has worked for years to clean up her act and be a good mother to her son and daughter, and she is now fighting to regain custody. Unfortunately, she says her ex is doing everything he can to ruin her chances. 

When you divorce, it may be time to review or create a trust

Getting married means that you have someone else to assume responsibility for, which often lends itself to estate planning. After all, when you have family members and loved ones who could benefit from your assets, you have more of an interest in ensuring that those assets smoothly transition to someone else's ownership when you die.

You don't want your family to have to struggle financially while the assets you acquire during your life slowly wind their way through probate court. Instead, you want them to have the comfort that comes from knowing that their financial issues are more or less addressed as part of your estate plan.

Safeguarding a credit rating in a divorce situation

It is never wise for one to leave finances to chance. It's a particularly unwise thing for Connecticut residents to do when they're in the throes of divorce proceedings. It is likely that those who are separating or divorcing will be moving from a two to a one-income household. But there are steps individuals can take to safeguard their credit ratings in order to avoid ending up in financial distress.

It may be a wise idea for those who are divorcing to check their credit reports. There are many companies that allow a couple of checks at no cost. In doing so, individuals will have clearer pictures of their overall financial health and disclosing that to a former partner during divorce proceedings is necessary anyway. 

Family law: Methods of ascertaining paternity over the years

The ways in which a child's paternal father is ascertained have changed over the past decades. Many issues are connected to a child's paternity under Connecticut family law rules, and there are a number of reasons why a child's parentage should be known, especially when it comes to child support. Silent film star Charlie Chaplin knew too well what that could mean having been fingered by his young protégé as being the father of her daughter -- something Chaplin vehemently denied.

Chaplin admitted to having an affair with the 23-year-old woman, but he maintained he did not father her child. This all unfolded in the 1940s when DNA testing was unheard of and the case created a courtroom drama since Chaplin had just wed an 18-year-old woman. The first paternity trial ended in a deadlocked jury. Chaplin's lawyers relied on blood tests: The woman had type A blood, while the child had type B, which meant -- at that time -- that the child's father must have had either type B or type AB blood. Chaplin had type O, so it was thought he could not have been the child's biological father.

Divorce: How to decide if a marriage is really over

People who say I do don't do so with the thought that someday they will be saying I don't. But divorce is a part of life for many Connecticut couples. The decision to part ways does not come easily for many couples, and before deciding to file for divorce, individuals might want to ask themselves some difficult questions that weigh the positives and negatives of their situations.

It is true that divorce may shed a bleak light on various areas, such as relationships with children and other family members and colleagues, and it may also adversely affect a person's health. The question is whether someone is better off staying in a marriage or better off divorcing a partner. The answers may be as unique as the people needing to answer them.

We Listen, We Help, We Care

  • Hi Yuliana and Attorney Prince, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me. I really appreciated how compassionate you were while listening to my situation, even through my tears. Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with me. I left feeling very hopeful that when the dust settles, I’ll be ok.
  • 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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