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Connecticut Family Law Blog

What qualifies as parental kidnapping?

Parents often disagree strongly about where children should live or whether or not it is good for a child to go on a certain trip. In some cases, one parent may actively prevent the other parent from spending court-ordered time with a child, which is a fairly serious violation that can lead to criminal charges.

Understanding parental kidnapping is not as simple as one might think. Whether some act qualifies as kidnapping may vary depending on the marital status of the parents and whether or not the parents have a court order outlining the time that each parent spends with the child. Needless to say, navigating this particular area is not always simple.

Child custody options in Connecticut

The most difficult decision parents going through divorce face is determining the custody arrangement for their children. Houses can be sold, cars can be replaced, new marriages may follow, but the children are irreplaceable. Parents need to know what their options are before they can make the best decision for their children. There are several different child custody options utilized in Connecticut.

The first thing to remember when exploring the different child custody options is that the court has to make the final decision, and the court will do whatever it feels is in the best interest of the children. Normally, courts feel it is best if both parents are still significantly involved in the child's life. This type of arrangement is called joint custody and is broken down into two parts: legal custody and physical custody. In joint custody both parents will have some percentage of time spent with the child and some level of control over the major decisions in the child's life. The court will determine these percentages if the parents cannot come to an agreement about it on their own.

Divorce and annulment are very different creatures

There is a distinct difference between getting an annulment and getting a divorce. Although both are appropriate means of formally dissolving a marriage, annulment basically declares that the marriage was never legal in the first place. Divorce ends a marriage that was, in fact, deemed lawful to begin with.  A religious annulment in Connecticut is wholly apart from a divorce or annulment under the law.

Divorces are much more common than annulments. An annulment can be granted under certain instances. Though the grounds for annulment vary from state to state, some of the reasons include if one or both parties were tricked into the marriage, if one or both people weren't of legal age, in the case of incest, if one or both parties can't have children, if one or both people were married to others at the time of the marriage, if one or both people were unable to make a logical decision because of being impaired by alcohol or drugs or if one or both parties lied about something serious like having a criminal record. 

Family law: Is a prenup a recipe for a happy marriage?

Prenuptial agreements don't have the stigma attached to them that they used to have. In fact, these contracts, which are under the family law umbrella in Connecticut, can actually serve to make a marriage happier. All couples who tie the knot believe that they have found their lifelong partners. That's not always the case, however, so a prenuptial agreement is a safeguard for the "what if it doesn't work out" of marriage and doesn't have to be a romance wrecker. 

These documents are even more necessary when the couple is getting hitched for the second or more time and important when children are a part of the relationship. In most instances, a prenuptial agreement protects the assets of each person prior to them entering into marriage. And if one partner stands to lose more in the event of a divorce, a prenup can offer certain protections.

Divorce may be better than staying in an unfulfilling marriage

The last thing married couples think about is that at some point in their relationship, they'll both be thinking that it may be time to call it quits. When all other options have been exhausted and a Connecticut couple just can no longer seem to connect, maybe divorce isn't such a negative. Starting anew has many merits and it certainly beats staying in a relationship that is miserable. 

When both spouses look at divorce from the perspective of having the chance to start fresh, both may actually look forward to the possibilities. If kids are involved, showing them that single parenthood can be positive may help them to be terrific parents themselves one day. Marriage can be hard and when it's over, both individuals will have some time to devote to themselves without having to answer to a partner. Having time for some introspection may actually clear the way for a new relationship.

Disagreements that can ultimately lead to divorce in Connecticut

Nearly all people who enter into a new relationship bring baggage with them -- figuratively as well as literally. Some issues that persist in a marriage and continue to rear their ugly heads every time a Connecticut couple has a disagreement pave the way for an unwanted trip to divorce court. Experts say that there are certain things some couples can't seem to rectify and knowing what those are may help to create positive communication, so they don't become a problem in the relationship.

Couples who are parents may be at odds as to who should be the authoritarian figure to the kids. Who does the disciplining? They may be at odds as to who is the fun one and who sends the kids for a timeout. Compromise is key in these situations, according to experts. Parents who take turns being the 'meanie' with their kids may find this ultimately becomes a nonissue for them.

Making Connecticut divorce nicer with the collaborative process

A good breakup seems like an oxymoron, but it really doesn't have to be. Often, when a Connecticut couple gets to the point of divorce, they've usually reconciled some of the negative emotions that go hand-in-hand with the process. In many of these cases, the collaborative divorce process may be the way to go.

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has his or her own lawyer who can help iron out possible differences. It is a civil, more harmonious way of working out problems with a plus of staying far away from a court room. It's all about communication and agreeing to the format by signing an agreement.

Hidden assets can skew the outcome of your divorce unfairly

Divorce is a trying time for everyone involved. Many times, parents become so focused on protecting their children that they overlook other issues. The truth is that you should prioritize your children, but you also need to protect yourself in a divorce. All too often, one spouse makes moves early in the divorce process to take advantage of the other.

One common practice is the attempt to hide assets from the other spouse and the courts. While hidden assets may not seem like a major deal, they can have a drastic impact on the overall fairness of your divorce proceedings. After all, the courts can only divide the assets they know about. In other words, when your spouse hides assets from you, you end up getting the short end of the stick in the asset division process.

Connecticut residents can heal after a divorce

Humans are creatures of habit. No matter how long a couple is married, when they make the decision to divorce, it can be hard to let go of the things that once were. But with a little time and patience, Connecticut residents who find themselves living the single life once again will be able to move ahead and let go both physically and emotionally.

Processing feelings and allowing them to come instead of repressing them is one way of beginning to heal. Both love and anger can be a part of the mix. Letting go of anger is a precursor to beginning a healing journey. It is paramount to forgiveness. There may be one partner in the marriage who may have hopes of a reconciliation, but learning to let go of the love that once was will help people to come to terms with a breakup.

The 4 big issues that may lead to divorce in Connecticut

Marriage takes open and honest communication. There are some issues that may take a marriage into territory from which there is no returning. These four big issues, if not rectified, may escalate to the point of causing a Connecticut couple to divorce. They're known as the four As: adultery, abuse, agendas and addiction.

For obvious reasons, adultery is taboo in a marital union. For most married people, it is considered morally reprehensible and the major reason for a marriage falling apart. Infidelity is often the icing on the cake to other issues going on in the marriage that have not been dealt with. Abuse is also the death of many marriages. Emotional and physical abuse can leave a partner feeling isolated and scared and usually culminates in a marriage breakdown if it is ongoing.

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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