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Southport Connecticut Family Law Blog

Considerations for potential surrogate mothers

Many couples in Connecticut and around the country find themselves wanting to be parents but unable to have a baby in the way often referred to as "naturally." Sexual reproduction by a mother and a father is simply not always an option. Some couples struggle with infertility. Others are able to become pregnant, but complications preclude a successful outcome. Same-sex couples naturally need to consider other routes to parenthood. Regardless of the reason, hiring a surrogate is an option.

Women who are contemplating entering into a surrogate contract will want to think about several aspects of the relationship and experience before deciding if it is right for them. ConceiveAbilities acknowledges that while the good feeling that comes with helping someone have a child may be legitimate, potential surrogates need to be clear about the legal and contractual obligations of the experience as well.

Will the court require you to pay your husband manimony?

As a well-paid female management level employee in Connecticut, you likely have a satisfying work life. If your marriage is less than satisfying, however, you should be aware that if and when you divorce, the court may require you to pay your husband manimony. That is not its real name, of course, but rather the nickname applied to the spousal support payments that women make to their ex-husbands after a divorce.

As women have entered and succeeded in the workforce the past several decades, more and more of them find themselves in the position of earning as much as, if not more than, their husbands. If this describes you and your husband, you likely are quite proud of your economic equality. Yours may even be one of the 40 percent of American households where your paycheck represents the major or only one supporting the family.

Coparenting after a divorce

Connecticut parents who get divorced know that they must still find a way to work together for the benefit of their joint children. This is definitely a task that can be easier said than done. However, with the right level of consciousness and focus on the children's needs first, it can be done positively for all involved.

Today's Parent magazine recommends that moms and dads try to treat each other like they would a co-worker. Taking this approach generally helps to take emotion out of communications and retain a level of politeness even if it feels professional and not overly warm. This is far better than being adversarial with each other.

Can you relocate with your kids after your divorce?

Despite the initial struggles that you may experience following your divorce in Southport, life will go on. Part of the process of moving on might involve the opportunity to relocate. However, your having custody of your children can complicate matters, as a move would no do doubt impact your ex-spouse's custody or visitation arrangements. How, then, are you able to make such a move happen? 

You must provide both the family court that has jurisdiction over your case as well as your ex-spouse notification of your intent to move. If you can come to an amicable agreement as to how to modify your custody arrangement with your ex-spouse on your own, the court will often honor your wishes. Yet if you cannot, your ex-spouse may request a hearing to oppose the move. 

10 Benefits of Reich and Truax Mediating your Case

Mediation is efficient and effective. When two parties share a common goal of wanting to reach a solution for pending issues, mediation is extremely beneficial. A successful mediation session begins with identifying the issues that need to be addressed and ends with a written agreement by the parties. Instead of wasting time in court waiting to be heard, when you are scheduled for mediation, from the moment you walk in, the parties, attorneys, and mediator(s) are focused on your case.

Mediation is more than a substitute for a divorce trial. Mediation can be used for any matter that can be litigated. Mediation can be narrowed and focused only on a few elements of a case or can settle every disagreement. Mediation allows the parties to explore alternatives that may not have otherwise been considered in litigation.

Catching a spouse hiding assets

If you are thinking about getting divorced or in a marriage that is on the rocks and possibly headed for divorce in Connecticut, you will no doubt want to start taking stock of your life on many levels. This stock taking includes getting a good handle on your assets whether they be yours solely or jointly owned. In addition, you will want to pay close attention to the actions and behaviors of your spouse so that you can identify if they are hiding assets from you.

A spouse may try to hide money in some way so that they end up getting more in a final divorce settlement. Of course, that fact of getting more for them means you get less so it is very important that you catch these things. As explained by Forbes, some signals you want to pay attention to is a spouse who all of a sudden starts forgetting to tell you about purchases or investments that they previously would have disclosed with you or even discussed with you prior to making.

What is a QDRO?

Like many in Southport, you may find it hard to understand the notion of your 401k being an asset that is subject to property division. After all, your account is any available through your employer and is typically supported solely by your income (as well as any matching funds offered by your employer). Why, then, would it be considered a marital asset? Think of it along the same lines as your earned income. Whatever you made while married is marital income, and given that your contributions to your 401k came from that income, it makes more then as to why its viewed this way. 

So now that your better understand it, what is the best way to divide those portions subject to division up equally. One method recommended by the 401k Help Center is to submit a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to your plan administrator. A QDRO is a document endorsed by the court which allows your plan administrator to distribute funds from your retirement account to an alternate payee. Any distributions made under the QDRO are not subject to early withdrawal penalties; it simply stipulates how much to disperse to your ex-spouse. He or she can do whatever he or she wants with his or her portion; you can continue to contribute to and grow your 401k. 

Information to gather before divorce proceedings

Whether a couple was together for a few years or several decades, both parties will most likely want to make the divorce process as smooth as possible. During this time, it is critical to keep communication lines open and to take care of your own emotional well-being.

Another way to ensure a smoother process is to bring together all essential documentation willingly and without incident. It is vital to never hide assets, as your ex's legal team can easily discover these items. By remaining open and honest, you can complete the legal separation process much faster than most couples.

Understanding child custody laws

As countless Connecticut residents going through divorce are aware, the process can present seemingly endless obstacles. This is especially true for ex-spouses with children. While a child's best interest is generally top priority in child custody arrangements, the details of these laws can vary from state to state.

Untangling the fine print of child custody laws is often a challenge in itself. Family resource LiveAbout breaks down Connecticut's child custody laws in an accessible way, first noting that the state defines joint custody as a process that allows both parents to make important decisions. These decisions primarily involve the general welfare of the child, and equal time split between each parent. The state defines "legal custody" as decision-making rights, and uses the term "physical custody" to refer to the amount of time a child spends at each parent's home. Like most states, Connecticut courts usually consider the following when determining child custody:

  • The child's needs
  • The parents' preferences
  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • History of domestic violence
  • History of abuse  


Mediation is quickly becoming a preferred method for resolving family court cases. Most family law matters cannot be resolved with a simple answer. Unfortunately, many times when you litigate, you receive an order that doesn't actually address all of your underlying issues presented to the court. Your case deserves proper time and attention. In order to effectively work through problems everyone involved must be willing to dedicate the effort necessary to reach the best resolution possible. A courtroom cannot always provide this to people. Even with an attorney by your side in court, many times the courtroom experience is not pleasant. Courthouses are overpopulated and are overscheduled. Often times people wonder if there is a better way. There is. Mediation is an alternative to the litigation process that aids in negotiation and settlement, keeps parties' goals at the forefront of the process, and allows parties to move through the court system with more efficiency than traditional litigation.

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