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Hartford Family Law Blog

The pros and cons of keeping your married name post-divorce

One of the many questions that many women must contemplate during a divorce is whether to go back to using their maiden name or keep their married name. Most women still take their husband's last name when they marry or at least hyphenate their last name to include both.

Obviously, there's no one right answer. The decision is based on each individual's circumstances. It's a decision based on many practical considerations. However, it's also an emotional one. Giving up something that's been part of your identity for a while, possibly for decades, can be painful. The following are some things to consider when making that decision for yourself.

Actress may be paying spousal support to estranged husband

We can now add actors Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green to the list of celebrity couples calling it quits this summer. The couple reportedly made the decision to go their separate ways earlier this year, after five years of marriage. However, Fox filed the divorce papers just this month.

Media reports indicate that the 29-year-old actress may be the one paying spousal support to her 42-year-old husband. Green is best known as one of the stars of the television show "Beverly Hills 90210" from 1990 to 2000.

Why do so many men seem to cheat with the nanny?

It's become a cliche -- men cheating on their wives with their children's nanny. This summer, in the midst of their divorces, both actor Ben Affleck and musician Gavin Rossdale have been dogged by rumors that they were cheating with their nannies. Both have denied that the rumors are true.

However, such relationships are nothing new. Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with the family's housekeeper while he was married to Maria Shriver. Actor Jude Law admitted to having an affair with his children's nanny while he was engaged to fellow actor Sienna Miller.

How are college expenses divided between divorced parents?

Child support negotiations are important during a divorce. However, what happens when a child goes to college? What is the financial obligation for each parent for the often considerable expenses of tuition, room and board, books and other college expenses?

In Connecticut, the Post-Majority Educational Support Law addresses this situation for cases in which the initial child support order occurred anywhere from Oct. 1, 2002 (when the law became effective) onward. It allows courts to order parents to provide support for children for up to four academic years or up to the age of 23 if they are in accredited post-secondary schools.

Kardashian, Odom finalize divorce

For those who follow the goings-on of the Kardashian clan, even peripherally, it may seem like Khloe's split from her husband, former Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom, was a thing of the past. However, the former couple just signed their divorce papers last month.

The road to divorce has been a long one for the high-profile couple. Kardashian filed for divorce back in December 2013, four years after they married, amid rumors of infidelity and substance abuse by Odom. She reportedly asked for no spousal support and also requested that Odom receive no support.

Apps that can help family organization after divorce

Divorcing Connecticut couples who have children will need to continue some type of relationship even after they've gone their separate ways. Handling the day-to-day organization of your children's activities is hard enough when you're together. When you live separately but want to remain involved in your children's lives, it can be even more complicated.

Fortunately, there are some good apps out there designed to help parents who aren't living together communicate about their children's activities and expenses. These can be particularly useful for divorced couples who have difficulty maintaining an amicable relationship, even when it comes to their children. However, they can also be useful organizational tools for parents who are committed to putting their differences aside to successfully co-parent their children.

What's special about the tenth anniversary for divorcing couples?

Many fans of actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were saddened to hear their announcement just a day after their 10-year wedding anniversary that they are divorcing. According to legal and financial experts, the timing of that announcement was likely carefully calculated. What's significant about the 10-year anniversary for couples who divorce, and what can other couples learn from the way that "Bennifer" is untying the knot?

There can be significant financial advantages to waiting until the tenth anniversary to divorce. In California, where Affleck and Garner's divorce will take place, 10-plus year marriages are considered "long term." This can have advantages for the spouse who earns less because a judge can award him or her more spousal support and for a longer period of time than if the marriage hadn't lasted a decade.

Actress testifies of toll that custody battle has taken

Fortunately, most child custody battles don't get as complicated and drawn out as that of actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband, Daniel Giersch. The two, who divorced in 2010, have been fighting an international battle for their now 6- and 8-year-old children.

Giersch, who was born in Germany, has not been allowed entry into the U.S. since a trip he made abroad several years ago. In 2013, a judge decided that the children would live with their father abroad.

Summer requires planning and communication for divorced parents

For many divorced parents, summer vacation means a change in child custody and visitations whether your plans include a getaway or not. It's generally a good idea to work out arrangements for summer break while you are drafting your custody agreement. This can help prevent confusion and disputes that can ruin your children's summer and make yours unpleasant as well.

Whatever you have in mind, it's essential to communicate your plans to your co-parent and get his or her OK before you make any reservations, particularly if your plans will cut into the other one's time. It's also important to get your kids' input. When parents break up, children often feel like they've lost all control over their world. Having a say in summer vacation plans can help them reclaim some of that.

What is a 'fair divorce?'

Divorce can be a highly-charged, emotional process. However, the decisions we make during our divorce may well impact us financially for the rest of our lives. An economist who acts as a financial advisor to people going through this process emphasizes the importance of getting a "fair divorce."

To many people, particularly those who weren't the ones to end the marriage, what seems fair may be taking everything your spouse ever had and ever will have. Obviously, that's not going to happen. However, there are objective ways to determine whether a divorce settlement is fair.

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