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Southport Connecticut Family Law Blog

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.

The last-minute rush to get divorced

For some couples in Connecticut, the last several weeks of 2018 might look very different than anyone could have ever imagined. Instead of rushing to the mall, enjoying holiday festivities and working to salvage a marriage being primary activities, rushing to get divorced might be the focus. Generally speaking, divorces are not rushed nor are they the primary focus during holiday seasons but an upcoming change to the tax code is making this an unusual year indeed.

In just a matter of weeks, a divorced couple might find themselves paying more in income tax on alimony than they would if they completed their divorce in 2018 according to Bloomberg. This increased cost of alimony is thanks to the new tax law that shifts the burden of paying federal income tax on spousal support away from the recipient to the payor. Because the person who pays alimony is most often in a higher tax bracket than the person who receives spousal support, the amount of tax to be paid on the same amount of money would theoretically increase. 

How does the court determine child support?

One of the main decisions a court makes when it comes to children is child support payments. Child support is a payment from one parent to another to assist with the care of the children. Usually, the parent who the children live with receives the payment and the other parent pays it. The court uses the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines to determine support, according to the Judicial Branch.

These guidelines provide a mathematical formula that plugs in different financial data from both parents. The main data used is the income of each of you. However, it will also use medical insurance costs since you or your spouse will probably have to carry the insurance on your children as part of your child support obligations. The formula also uses the number of children you have. Along with child support, the court also determines who is responsible for any unpaid medical costs and childcare expenses.

What is artificial insemination?

Connecticut residents have more options for starting a family these days than ever before. Between different types of artificial conception, parents of all sorts can have children much more easily than in the past. However, these new methods of conception also create legal questions, such as asking who the legal guardian of your child is.

FindLaw examines different artificial conception methods, including artificial insemination. Artificial insemination is a process in which sperm is directly inserted into the fallopian tubes, cervix, or uterus of the partner that wishes to become pregnant. In this way, it not only allows for a couple to bypass issues with the fallopian tubes, but it can also make up for any issues with the sperm quality.

Increase in prenups, decrease in divorce for millennials

Many people in Connecticut are aware that the generation known as the millennials is responsible for leading a variety of changes in society and this includes in the realm of marriage and divorce. Some new information from a study conducted by a researcher at the University of Maryland as well as data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers corroborates this.

As reported in Newsweek, the AAML has found that an increasing number of millennial couples are entering into prenuptial agreements before they get married. No longer are these marital contracts reserved just for the rich and famous but now they are used by people who are approaching marriage from a more prudent perspective than their predecessors may have.

Tips for divorcing spouses appearing in court

While the divorce rate has been high in recent decades, experts have found a steady decline in recent years. The reason for this boils down to millennials following different marriage patterns than their parents. The younger population usually marries later in life when they have more financial stability. 

However, couples of any age group are never immune from the prospect of divorce. It is a tumultuous time, and while there is a lot on the line, spouses should follow these tips when appearing in the courtroom: 

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