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Going through a gray divorce with minor children

It is old news that those 50 and older are divorcing more than that age group ever has in the past. This trend of gray divorce often comes with unique and complicated factors, such as dividing retirement plans and other high assets, as well as establishing alimony for decades-long marriages. Most of the time, issues such as child custody are not relevant.

However, as more couples get married (or remarried) later in life and have children later in life, whether biological or adopted, there is a greater chance that minor children will be in the picture. If you are going through a gray divorce with minor children, you will have to consider the following:

Can I financially survive a divorce?

If you and your spouse have experienced significant marital challenges, you may be considering filing for divorce. Many Connecticut couples think about the potential of getting divorced for some time before they actually take steps to file for a divorce. If you are in this stage, you should use the time to ensure that you are fully educated about your marital finances and that you properly identify the cost of living for you as a single person. 

USA Today explains that learning about your current finances and future financial needs can help you prevent falling into extreme financial problems down the road. The first thing for you to do is to get a full picture of what it costs you and your spouse to live your current lifestyle today. Collect information on all expenses and on all debts you share. Make sure to include things like health care costs not covered by insurance, vehicle insurance and maintenance and extracurricular activities for your kids.

Understanding amicable divorce

At the law offices of Reich & Truax, PLLC, we know that one of the last words most Connecticut residents want to hear associated with their divorce is “amicable.” After all, the circumstances that led to the end of your marriage were likely to be anything but amicable. However, you may want to learn about the types of uncontested divorce, often referred to as amicable divorce, that may help the process go by more smoothly and effectively.

If you hope to end your marriage with one of the uncontested methods, you will need to learn about mediation and collaborative law. As FindLaw explains, mediation involves you, your spouse and a neutral third party in a series of sessions where you attempt to resolve your disputes without court intervention. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse would have your own attorneys and agree not to litigate. If litigation is unavoidable, your attorneys would be required to resign. This method often gives everyone an incentive to cooperate.

Managing back-to-school after a divorce

The end of summer can often be a busy time for families in Connecticut who have school-aged children. People may try to fit in the last of the summer fun activities while also needing to get prepared for that eventual first day of school. For parents who are separated or divorced, there is also the need to figure out how they will navigate purchases of back-to-school materials and a changing schedule with a former partner. 

Coparenting is rarely easy but it seems that a parent's ability to do this well is put to the test when this time of year rolls around. PsychCentral recommends that divorced or separated parents make their plans for how they will split costs and time with their kids without putting the kids in the middle. Developing a school-year schedule should also entail making plans for unexpected events like school closures due to inclement weather or a child's illness that necessitates them to stay home on a school day.

What are benefits of a surrogacy agreement?

Couples in Connecticut working with a surrogate, and likewise, surrogates themselves, will find the state has many favorable conditions for them. For instance, surrogacy agreements are legal in the state. There are several benefits to negotiating this type of contract between the surrogate and intended parents.

One advantage is the ability to navigate social expectations between the surrogate and the future parents. mentions some items that can be hammered out in an agreement. Examples include deciding who will attend prenatal appointments and asking the surrogate to refrain from unhealthy habits.

Poverty and divorce linked in research results

It is reasonable for people who live in Connecticut to be worried about their finances if or when they get divorced. The impact of splitting assets and finding how to support oneself on a solo income after becoming accustomed to a married income lifestyle is no easy task. For some people, the experience may actually be a contributing factor to eventual poverty according to some research conducted by sociologists at Bowling Green State University.

The researchers took a look at the financial situations of people who were 62 years of age and older and then grouped the people into one of seven different categories based on their marital status, gender and age. Interestingly, the group with the lowest poverty rate included those persons, male and female, who had been divorced before turning 50 but who eventually got remarried. The poverty rate for this group was 3.1%.

What factors do courts consider for custody and visitation?

Filing for divorce is difficult enough. It becomes substantially harder when the couple shares children and they must go through the process of determining child custody

Unless extenuating circumstances are present that would warrant one parent having sole custody, the court will need to decide what living arrangement is best for the child. It is possible for both parents to come together to create their own parenting arrangement. It will still need to go in front of a judge for approval, but it could be the best way to ensure everyone gets what they want. 

Can you keep your 401k?

As you enter into your divorce proceedings in Southport, you likely have already resigned yourself to the fact that you will likely lose (or at least see your ownership diminish in) some assets. You may not be ready, however, to include your 401k amongst them. While the contributions made to your retirement account during your marriage do come from marital income, they still came as a result of your individual effort. Thus, your desire to not divide them with your ex-spouse is understandable. There may even be a way for you to keep the entirety of your 401k account in your divorce settlement. 

The 401k Help Center suggests that if you want to retain your full 401k, you should consider giving up another asset to your spouse in exchange. The asset you relinquish your claim over, however, must be of comparable value. Finding such an asset may be more difficult than it sounds due to the complexities of trying to estimate exactly how much your 401k will be worth when you reach the age of retirement. 

How can I prepare for my custody hearing?

Even with an attorney's assistance, child custody hearings are often stressful for parents. Keep in mind you have the best chance of a successful result when you conduct yourself appropriately and come to the courthouse fully prepared for your hearing. That's why Very Well Family recommends these tips to present your case in a compelling and effective manner.  

Wear the right clothing

Pet custody in a divorce

For many people in Connecticut, a dog or a cat might be the fur baby of their dreams. Pets today are more and more looked upon as treasured members of a family, not just creatures that live in the barn or in the dog house in the corner of the back yard. While this can be very positive in most situations, it can make the decision about who gets the pet when a couple gets divorced very difficult. explains that a divorce is not just hard on the spouses who are splitting up but also on the family pet. Dogs, for example, love their routines and can become quite upset when things get turned upside down. They might even have potty accidents or act out in other ways, much like a small child who is exhibiting emotional distress during a parental divorce.

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