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How should we handle debt during our divorce?

If you and your spouse in Connecticut have made the difficult decision to end your marriage, you will now face the challenge of figuring out how to split up your assets and move forward with two single lives. A lot of attention is given to property division settlements and, while that is understandable, it is important for you to remember that it is not just your assets that need to be addressed but also your debts.

You may find it tempting to just let your divorce decree outline all responsibilities regarding which one of you will be required to pay which debt. However, Money Management cautions against this approach as it leaves you vulnerable down the road. The big thing you need to know is that a creditor does not pay attention to your divorce, only to the names on a credit account. As long as both names remain on an account, both people will be responsible for the debt in the eyes of the creditor. 

How postsecondary education expenses relate to child support

It goes without saying that, as a Connecticut parent, you want what is best for your child. At Reich & Truax, PLLC, we know that that includes a postsecondary education well suited to your child's interests and abilities. As you prepare for divorce proceedings, however, you probably wonder if your child support order will include a provision requiring you to pay for expenses related to your child's postsecondary education. As is often the case with questions related to divorce, the answer depends on several different factors. 

It is certainly possible for a child support order to include provisions for postsecondary education expenses. However, the law limits the amount that the court can order you to pay. It must not exceed the amount it would require for your child to attend the University of Connecticut, including board and room costs as well as in-state tuition. The law applies regardless of what school your child ultimately decides to attend. If costs for your child to go to a different postsecondary institution exceed those required to attend UCONN, you have the option of working out a plan to defray those costs in a privately contracted separation agreement. 

How can I cope with my divorce emotionally?

Along with the practical consequences of divorce, dealing with the emotional fallout can be just as overwhelming. In this case, knowing how to deal with stress and other negative emotions is invaluable, especially for contentious divorces. Live About offers the following tips in this case, which can help you bounce back emotionally after your marriage has been dissolved.

Do things you love

4 Key Concepts That Could Help Preserve an Art Collection

Most assets are simple to split up in a divorce. Securities, bank accounts and even some real estate holdings liquidate and divide in a relatively straightforward way. Of course, not everything fits the mold. Artworks in particular rank as some of the most complicated assets.

Here are some insights into how divorcing couples tend to divide complex, high-value assets in Connecticut and New York. These guidelines should be useful for anyone who holds significant value in unique articles of any kind, especially original works of art.

What are the two different types of surrogacy arrangements?

As a prospective parent considering alternative reproduction in Connecticut, you may have heard different and confusing terms such as "surrogate" and "gestational carrier." Despite their often interchangeable use, there is a subtle difference between the two that represents a separate surrogacy arrangement.

According to Very Well Family, there are two different types of surrogacy arrangements: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. With the advent of in vitro fertilization, gestational surrogacy is now the most common arrangement made. A gestational surrogate has no biological relationship to the child that she carries for the intended parents. Rather, fertility specialists use IVF to create one or more embryos, usually with one or both of the intended parents' reproductive cells, and transfer one or more of these embryos into the gestational surrogate's uterus. The term "gestational carrier" sometimes applies to these surrogates to emphasize the fact that they are not biological parents to the babies they carry.

What is in vitro fertilization?

Couples who are having difficulty conceiving a child in Connecticut may consider in vitro fertilization as an alternative reproduction method. According to the Mayo Clinic, in vitro fertilization involves joining egg and sperm outside the body in a laboratory and then implanting the fertilized embryo into either your uterus or that of a gestational carrier. If all goes well, you or the gestational carrier will carry the child to term and deliver a healthy baby. 

In vitro fertilization may be an option for a number of reproductive issues: 

  • Previous sterilization
  • Impaired sperm production or function
  • Abnormalities of the uterus, such as fibroids or endometriosis
  • Ovulation disorder
  • Fallopian tube blockage

Estate planning realities for separated spouses

If you and your spouse in Connecticut have chosen to separate, one of the things you should consider revising is your estate plan. Even if you are not sure whether or not you will divorce or when you might divorce, there are no doubt some decisions you would rather not leave to your estranged spouse. 

Forbes recommends that you carefully investigate what aspects of your estate plan you are legally able to update while separated but still legally married as some things can only be changed once you are divorced. Among the things that you may be able to change once you are separated are your durable power of attorney and medical advance directive. The former is the document that names another person as having the ability to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. The latter allows another person to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

Gray divorce and finances

If you are in your 50s, 60s or even older and are contemplating getting divorced, you are far from alone. Many other couples in Connecticut and around the United States are in this position as the rate of divorces in this age group has grown from five per every 1,000 married persons in 1990 to 10 in every 1,000 spouses by 2010. In total, these gray or silver divorces as they are often called account for roughly 25 percent of all marital dissolutions in the U.S. today.

Psychology Today explains that financial challenges may be one of the contributing factors to a divorce at this stage of life. This is actually opposite what some people might have thought. When a couple gets divorced when they are close to retirement age, the financial realities of this major life change can have serious consequences for them. As assets and debts get split in a divorce, a newly single person might find themselves with less money to live on and less money to retire on. They also have less time left to work to recoup the money they had planned to use for retirement.

State encourages same-sex couples to adopt

It has been more than three full years now since the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the nation. In that time, however, gay and lesbian couples have still encountered many challenges when it comes to finding ways to become parents and ways to establish legal parentage for both parents.

Some of the challenges faced by a same-sex couple are based in biology, forcing people to seek alternative methods of reproduction as two women or two men simply cannot produce a child naturally. Other challenges, however, are brought about by societal mindsets or administrative roadblocks. As reported earlier this year by NBC News, many states are continuing to support actions that either make it harder or completely prevent gay and lesbian couples from adopting children. Connecticut, however, has taken steps in the opposite direction and is opening its arms to parents regardless of sexual orientation. The latest move focuses on children who are under the care of the state and in need of either being adopted or living with a foster family.

Typical divorce timeline in Connecticut

Everyone's divorce is different. Some people will have a fairly difficult divorce while other divorces will be far more amicable. In one particular case, a Connecticut couple still got along 20 years after the divorce to the point where the woman donated her kidney to her ex-husband. 

While your divorce may differ significantly, there is one thing you can be fairly confident will be the same: the timeline. In general, here are the major points of any divorce.

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