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Hartford Family Law Blog

Former Knicks player reaches divorce deal

It's been a summer of changes for Raymond Felton. Phil Jackson, the New York Knicks' new president, traded the 30-year-old point guard to the Dallas Mavericks late last month. Then earlier this month, he and his estranged wife reportedly agreed to the terms of their divorce.

The former Knick was not in the courthouse when the deal was reached but his soon-to-be-ex was. He negotiated the agreement via telephone along with his lawyers.

Judge directs Sanfords to mediate trust fund modifications

Many of our readers recall the case of Mark Sanford. In fact, according to a July 14 article in The Post and Courier, the tale of the married South Carolina governor who admitted in 2009 to an affair with an Argentinian woman will be among the political sex scandals covered in a new off-Broadway production. His original excuse to his staff for disappearing for a few days -- that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail -- became a euphemism with which late-night television hosts had a field day. Sanford, who has since been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, is now engaged to his former mistress.

Part of the fallout of that scandal was the dissolution of his marriage the following year. Now the congressman and his former wife are still battling in court. This time, it's over trust funds for the couples' two youngest sons. The boys were 10 and 12 when their parents divorced.

Basketball player wants custody of child if paternity is proven

A paternity allegation by a young woman against a professional basketball player may not have turned out the way she’d anticipated. Paul George, a forward for the Indiana Pacers, has reportedly decided that if tests confirm that he is the father of a 2-month old baby, he wants sole custody of the little girl. The 24-year-old player reportedly had a relationship with the child’s mother last summer while she was working as a stripper in Miami. She gave birth on May 1. The woman, who has since moved to be near family in New York, filed a paternity suit against George during this year’s Eastern Conference finals. George has met the child. However, he has questioned the paternity test that was done before the baby was born and is asking that another one be done. If he is determined to be the child’s father, multiple media outlets are reporting that he wants sole custody of her.

Don't forget retirement plans in Connecticut divorces

The number of divorces among couples in their 50s and older has been increasing over the past decades, and has doubled in the past 24 years. It's estimated that by 2030, there will be about 800,000 "gray divorces" per year.

Divorce is not easy at any age, but it can present additional financial challenges for those who are older and more financially established. People relying on joint retirement accounts, pension plans and defined-contribution plans to support them in their golden years can emerge from a divorce with only a fraction of that money. Meanwhile, they are facing the added expenses that come with living on their own.

Why divorcing Connecticut dads should stay in the home

Recently, we discussed how fathers are increasingly getting better child custody agreements in divorces. However, as one lawyer who deals with men's rights during divorce points out, too many men harm their chances of getting joint physical custody by voluntarily moving out of the house prior to the divorce. He says that's one of the biggest mistakes that men make during a divorce, and possibly the biggest mistake of their lives.

Why not move out, if it will make things more peaceful for everyone? First, it will likely to be harder to convince a judge that you are actively involved in your children's lives if you chose to leave. It sends a contradictory message. Further, if the divorce and custody proceedings are particularly rancorous, it could be portrayed as abandoning your family. In addition, whatever informal visitation arrangement you make with your estranged spouse after you leave could become the template for the final custody arrangement.

Why child custody rights are improving for fathers

Women have achieved significant advances in legal rights over the past decades, which has meant a shift in the family unit and the roles of mom and dad in many cases. Now more men are seeking greater custody rights of their children.

State legislators and judges across the country are listening. Even the language around child custody is changing. Terms like "parenting time" are replacing sole and joint custody. However, custody laws still vary from state to state, and even within individual states and counties. One family law attorney, however, says that no state is "a beacon of being father friendly."

Why divorce can cause weight gain for Connecticut kids

Amid the stress of divorce, parents often don't realize the impact of their break-up on their children, both physically and emotionally. One of the physical manifestations can be weight gain.

This can occur for any number of reasons and sometimes, for multiple ones. As one psychiatrist notes, when one parent takes over primary care of the children, he or she may not have the time or inclination to prepare healthy meals. Parental attention to what children are eating or how they are spending their time may also suffer.

Tips for successfully co-parenting Connecticut kids post-divorce

Once spouses have gone their separate ways, each begins a new relationship with their children. Whatever the child custody arrangements are, you are likely co-parenting in some fashion. This can be difficult, particularly if parents are on less than amicable terms. However, it's essential to focus on your children despite your negative feelings about your ex.

Grown children of divorce, as many of us in Connecticut are, say that during and after their parents' break-up, the felt insecure and sad. Regardless of your ex-spouse's behavior, it's up to you to minimize that. One relationship experts offers some tips for helping your children in the aftermath of divorce.

Why timing can be important in Connecticut divorces

We talked recently about the increase in the divorce rate for baby boomers. While the overall national rate has increased in the past few decades, it doubled for people in their 50s or older between 1990 and 2010. At least one reason for this is that many couples want to be financially secure before they go out on their own. With this financial security, however, come some important financial considerations for timing a divorce.

One financial advisor cautions spouses to be aware of what is going on with their partner's business and personal finances. For example, if someone is about to receive a windfall, whether from taking a company public, receiving a bonus or receiving an inheritance, it is likely best to wait because those assets will become marital property. If a couple co-owns a business that they plan to sell, it's often best not to divorce until after the sale is completed.

3 Connecticut children found, returned to father

Child custody battles are never pleasant. However, both parents are required to abide by the custody arrangement or challenge it via the legal system. A person who takes a child without the other parent's knowledge or permission can face criminal charges.

A 32-year-old woman was arrested and is looking at potential charges for allegedly taking her three young sons away from the Vernon, Connecticut, home where they live with their father. The father was reportedly awarded joint custody with the mother last November. Under the custody agreement, the boys (7-year-old twins and a 9-year-old) live with him, but the mother is allowed visitation.

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