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Southport Connecticut Family Law Blog

Connecticut may make child safety the first priority in custody

Children are the future of our families, our nation and our world. They deserve all of the protections we can give them to assure their safe and constructive upbringing. Good parents rarely have a problem with that. But, the protections that families and the government of Connecticut afford children can seem weak when divorce, separation and other events make them victims of adult's decisions.

A lawmaker in Hartford is proposing a new way of protecting children who are caught in dramatic divorce cases like those where a suspected murder occurs.

New Connecticut law reduces probate court authority in family law

Connecticut uses a system of probate courts to help people access the basic functions of the law with relative ease. After all, courts should serve the needs of the people who need their help the most. Probate courts are where guardians, inheritors and many other types of people learn their status and have their cases heard.

A new law promulgated in Hartford regulates how probate courts decide the fate of children with no parent or legal guardian who can take custody. The bill came in response to excesses by court-appointed guardians that have included abuse and neglect, as well as subsequent investigations by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Frozen embryos: No specific laws apply in divorce cases

You and your spouse have been together for many years, but despite your best efforts, you've never been able to have a child. Over time, the trials you went through pushed you apart instead of bringing you together, and now you've found yourself in an unusual situation.

You have embryos preserved, and you'd like to use them. Your spouse doesn't want to, but you're going through a divorce and believe that it's your right to. What is the truth?

How is marital property identified and divided in Connecticut?

People in a marriage usually ask themselves a lot of questions when they're thinking that divorce is a possibility. How can I prevent it? How did we get here? What's the best way to approach the possibility with my spouse? If someone gets here, there may be one important question that requires a real answer. How much of our savings and property do I get?

Do spouses split their joint assets in a divorce?

Cryptocurrency and divorce: What you need to know

Digital assets like Bitcoin and Litecoin have attracted a growing number of investors in recent years -- yet, cryptocurrency is still far from mainstream. That can make dividing the assets in a divorce -- or even finding them -- difficult.

"Virtual currency" has been around for about a decade, but it's still an unregulated market that is prone to wild fluctuations in value. Those fluctuations make it very difficult to assign a consistent value to any cryptocurrency investments you or your spouse may have. After all, what might be valued at $20,000 at the start of your divorce could be worth 10 times that amount by the end of it -- or it could only be worth $2,000.

What is a pre-birth or post-birth order?

Scientific and social advances have opened the door for many more people to become parents than ever before. Whenever gestational surrogacy is involved, however, it's important to learn everything you can about the legal options available. In particular, you should understand the difference between a pre-birth and post-birth order.

What is a pre-birth order?

Helping a child adjust to shared custody

Coming to an agreement on custody arrangements is not always easy for both parents. Many custody battles wind up in family court, where the judge makes the decision as to who will have custody of the child. Once an agreement is in place, both parents must stick to it, even if it involves shared custody. Today, we will explain how you can help your child adjust to shared custody.

Shared custody is all about your child, not you or your spouse. The divorce was about you and your spouse. Now it's time to focus your energy on your child. Be sure that their questions are answered honestly, that they are loved, that they are comfortable in both homes and more.

5 important divorce mediation questions to address

Divorce is on the horizon and the time has come to prepare for mediation. You understand the basic advantages when compared to litigation, but you're still unsure of exactly what to expect once the process is up and running.

Here are five important divorce mediation questions to address before your first session:

  • How does a mediator help? A mediator does not have the same legal power as a family law judge, but this person can facilitate communication, clarify the divorce process, provide information about the legal system, discuss alternative dispute resolutions and ensure a fair discussion.
  • How does mediation work? While it varies from case to case, it always starts with a first meeting during which the couple identifies the issues of the divorce. These can include disagreements regarding property and debt division, child custody, child support and spousal support, among others. Subsequent meetings are when you will negotiate on all of these issues with the idea of reaching a resolution.
  • Do you have to go to court after mediation? As long as you work everything out in mediation, there's no legal requirement to appear in court. Your mediator can assist with filing the documentation.
  • How long does the process take? This varies based on the issues at hand and the willingness of both individuals to negotiate and compromise. On average, a case typically takes at least three or four two-hour mediation sessions.
  • Is it possible to consult with an attorney during divorce mediation? Not only is it possible, it's suggested. Even though you're not partaking in litigation in a courtroom setting, there are still challenges standing in your way and big decisions to make. A family law attorney will ensure that you understand the ins and outs of the process, while also helping you secure the best possible resolution on all fronts.

Creating an adoption story that has meaning for your child

The emotions and memories surrounding the months, weeks and days leading up to your child's adoption are probably varied and tied to deep feelings that will never be forgotten. Helping your adopted child to feel his or her importance and value is something you can support by sharing the story of your child's adoption. At Reich & Truax, PLLC, we have been able to help many Connecticut families facilitate the process of adoption. 

Your child's adoption story probably has many unique characteristics that set it apart from others including your reasons and desire to adopt, your child's background and birth story, the first time you met your child and the excitement of other family members to welcome someone new. Articulating your child's adoption story in a manner that is age-appropriate and helps him or her to feel special can help your child to effectively develop a personal identity.

Is your spouse being honest about their finances?

As a high-asset couple in Connecticut currently going through a divorce, the asset division alone can potentially be a headache. We at Reich & Truax, PLLC, discuss one thing that can make it even more complex: the possibility of a spouse lying about their financial situation.

Unfortunately, some spouses may feel as if they do not "owe" anything to their partner. This is in spite of state laws handling the division of jointly owned assets and property in certain ways meant to result in an equitable or equal share for both parties. In order to protect their assets from what they view as an unfair split, they may go to surprising lengths.

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