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Connecticut Family Law Blog

Child support and college education in Connecticut

Parents who divorce usually work out how they plan to provide for their child during the divorce or custody negotiation. However, the specifics are not always as clear when it comes to college education. This is especially true for parents who split while the child is still quite young and his or her potential college education is still many years away.

If parents do not have a working agreement for how to pay for a child's higher education, then they may face serious conflict when it comes time for that child to move beyond high school and enter college. In Connecticut, state laws indicate that parents must share college expenses for a child who enrolls and gains acceptance to an accredited educational establishment, usually until the child graduates.

Can online information affect a divorce in Connecticut?

In this technological age, much of how people communicate with each other involves electronic devices, whether they be cell phones or computers. Social media is commonplace and some married people have gotten into trouble in their technological communications either by sending what might be construed as inappropriate text messages or by sharing personal information online. Connecticut couples thinking about divorce may want to know what happens to all that data should their marriages crash on the rocks.

Those who think this type of communication is insignificant when it comes to marriage breakups may want to re-evaluate that opinion. Some of this type of correspondence has been used during negotiations of divorce settlements. This type of data is fair game when it comes to trying to prove infidelity. Short of deleting this data, there is nothing much anyone can do to prevent anyone from collecting this information.

Family law in Connecticut: Can cousins marry?

The old adage, kissin' cousins, can be taken quite literally in some states, though less so in others. Despite what people think about the moral aspects of first cousins marrying, one of the states that allows such marriages under family law rules is Connecticut. Most of the concerns center around genetics with the assumption that cousins may share similar DNA, which could possibly mean possible developmental problems should they have children.

However, research shows that kids of first cousins have between a 4 and 6 percent chance of having developmental problems. That number is between 2 and 3 percent of kids of people who aren't at all related. Second cousins, however, can legally marry in every state.

Divorce in Connecticut: How to break it to a spouse

Gone are the days when one partner in a marriage had to ask the other for a divorce. That's not to say it's always easy to tell a spouse it's over. If the marriage has been overtly sad and bad for some time, bringing up divorce may not be such a surprise. But if spouses in Connecticut have been living in a state of indifference or apathy, it may be more difficult to broach the subject. 

A couple who is unhappily married may only be making things worse for everyone involved by staying together. When one spouse tells the other he or she wants a divorce, it's likely just the beginning of a long list of questions that need to get answered. That may be part of the reason actually uttering the words, 'I want a divorce,' may be so difficult. But there are ways to try to make the conversation less daunting and uncomfortable. 

How virtual visitation works in Connecticut child custody cases

In the technological age there are different ways that divorcing parents can spend time with their children. Part of that might include virtual visitation when kids in Connecticut can visit their parents via Skype, webcam or with other computer software. This sort of visitation may also be written into a parenting agreement or mandated through a child custody order, and it is usually a noncustodial parent who has moved away that uses this type of visitation.

Virtual visitation does not replace real face-to-face time with children, which is needed on a regular basis. But for a noncustodial parent who lives far away from his or her kids, it can be a bridge to conventional parenting. This type of visitation can be instrumental in maintaining the bond between absent parents and their children.

Leave custody and child support out of prenuptial agreements

Many couples, especially those with significant assets, choose to create prenuptial agreements that outline their individual property and detail certain guidelines and expectations about financial behavior and ownership. These agreements are tremendously useful even to couples who never divorce, allowing each spouse to protect his or her property from the other's debts.

If divorce does occur, having these issues sorted out ahead of time can simplify the divorce process and ultimately benefit both parties as they leave the marriage and begin building new lives for themselves. However, poorly-constructed prenuptial agreements, or those that contain terms or provisions unsupported by the law, may create just as many complications as they propose to solve. This is particularly true if prenuptial agreements involve child custody or child support, which is not allowed by the courts.

Prudent ideas about the matrimonial home after divorce

Marital separation can put a big dent in finances. Financial burdens may cause even more stress than there is already. A marital home is likely the biggest shared asset of a Connecticut couple, so it may be a good idea to think about how it can help in an otherwise dicey divorce situation. If one spouse wants to sell the home, perhaps the other could buy him or her out.

But, be careful. Just because one person comes off the title of the home doesn't necessarily mean he or she is off the hook for the mortgage. It's best to look into the situation to make certain of the particulars of the mortgage. Someone who is off title doesn't want to be on the hook for mortgage payments.

How divorce impacts retirement in Connecticut

Unfortunately, marriage today doesn't always mean til death do part. Some couples who have been married for years find themselves in the untenable situation of having to discuss divorce. Connecticut couples who are aged 50 and over and who are facing a life-changing event may be wondering how divorce will affect their retirement plans. The fact is, since 1990, what is known as gray divorce has doubled; in those circumstances, it seems the longer a couple was married, the more retirement might be affected.

Retirement plans for individuals after divorce definitely may look different from when a couple was married. Gone is a shared home, joint assets and retirement plans. Saying so long to working days may have to be thought about differently after divorce. Living life as a single can be much more expensive than sharing finances with a spouse. Income may be chopped, but the bills will still come, so the first question to answer is can each individual retire when first planned.

Can a husband's job status lead to divorce?

Losing a job can have disastrous effects in many areas of life. Experts say divorce could likely be added to the list if a husband becomes unemployed. A Harvard research study shows that if a man in a domestic partnership or marriage loses his job, he could also lose his relationship. This could also be true for Connecticut couples. 

Data was lifted from more than 6,000 married couples. They were interviewed between 1968 and 2013. Findings from those interviews showed that couples where the husband held down a full-time, steady job were less likely to divorce. In fact, more than 30 percent of marriages where the husband didn't work, ultimately did not last. 

Life after divorce in Connecticut can be peaceful

As the song says, breaking up is hard to do. But life after -- and even during -- divorce can eventually be happy and peaceful again. Living life as a single in Connecticut can take a little getting used to. Happiness is a choice, no matter what life throws into the mix. Being mindful and living in the moment might help with the stresses brought on by the end of a marriage.

Being in the moment -- in other words, relishing every instant instead of looking back or ahead -- seems to have a calming effect on most people. Mindfulness exercises like meditation or yoga can focus attention on the present. Live in gratitude and appreciation rather than in anger and animosity.

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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