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Hartford Family Law Blog

Expedited divorce bill goes to Connecticut governor for signature

A bill passed by both houses of Connecticut's state legislature could help some couples "fast track" their divorce and have the whole thing over and done with in just 30 days. The legislation, which was already approved by the Senate, overwhelmingly passed the House earlier this month.

Couples will need to file a joint petition asking for this streamlined divorce. They must meet 11 requirements, including the following:

What is parental alienation?

Many Connecticut residents first heard the term "parental alienation" some years back when actor Alec Baldwin publicly accused his ex-wife Kim Basinger of keeping their daughter from him and trying to poison their relationship. He said, "Parental alienation is about people who narcissistically project their whole reality onto a child: 'I don't need you, so the child doesn't need you.'"

Parental alienation involves keeping a child away from the other parent in order to punish an ex-spouse. However, by using a child as a pawn, a parent can end up hurting that child, even to the point of causing psychological damage. Further, when parents force their children to choose between the two of them, they feel guilty regardless of what choice they make.

Rosie O'Donnell and wife's child custody battle getting ugly

Rosie O'Donnell's split from her wife Michelle Rounds has become one of accusations and counter-accusations. The main point of dispute is custody of the now-2-year-old daughter that the couple adopted together. The couple, who married in 2012, are facing off in a Manhattan court.

The 53-year-old comedian filed for divorce from her wife this February, several months after the two reportedly split. The news of divorce broke just shortly after O'Donnell left her hosting job on "The View." She told viewers that she needed to focus on her children and her health.

Older couples face unique issues during a divorce

With the divorce rate among people 50 and older having doubled in the two decades between 1990 and 2010, it's important to look at some things that people getting divorced at this stage in their lives should know. Taking these things into consideration during and after the divorce can let come out on the other side financially secure.

Your retirement savings will likely be split between the two of you. This means that you'll be living on less than you anticipated in your golden years. An experienced family law attorney and perhaps a financial advisor can help you determine how to choose from among the best available options for handling retirement funds in the divorce agreement.

How Texans can make their divorce a new start

A divorce is often one of the worst curveballs life can throw us. Even if the break-up of a marriage is ultimately the best thing for the couple, it's still an event that forces us to reevaluate our life, goals and priorities. It also means starting over in a lot of ways. That can be good. You can't undo the past, but you can take steps to claim your future.

Take control of your finances. Likely, your financial situation has changed. Evaluate where you are and what steps you need to take to live within your means and still save for your future. If you have a good family law attorney, he or she is working to help you get the financial settlement you need. However, it's still important to be cautious until things are settled. If your spouse managed the money or if you had a tendency to overspend, now is the time to learn how to manage your money.

Judge authorizes use of Facebook to serve divorce papers

It seems as though we're doing increasingly more of our communication via social media. When one creative attorney tried without success to track down his client's elusive spouse to serve divorce papers, he turned to Facebook.

The unique way of serving the papers was approved by a supreme court justice in Manhattan in March. He wrote in his decision that "a concept should not be rejected simply because it is novel or non-traditional. This is especially so where technology and the law intersect."

Coach's wife reportedly 'blindsided' by divorce filing

The current basketball season isn't the only thing that's going badly for Derek Fisher. The former star player and current New York Knicks head coach filed for divorce last month from Candace.

The divorce filing came just a month after the couple's 10-year wedding anniversary. They have 8-year-old twins together. The couple had famously helped their daughter Tatum battle a rare eye cancer, retinoblastoma, when she was an infant. Even though Fisher was playing for the Utah Jazz at the time, Tatum underwent successful treatment at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering. Last year, her mother reported that she is not only healthy and able to see, but "actually runs the household."

Take care of yourself during your divorce

Going through a divorce is probably one of the most stressful experiences a person can have. Many people, understandably, neglect their health during this time. However, falling into bad habits can have long-term ramifications. Middle-aged divorced women have been found to be more likely to have heart disease than those who are married.

Therefore, it's important to pay attention to your well-being. If you need friends, family or other support to do this, engage them to help you. Looking after your physical health can improve your emotional well-being.

Domestic violence and financial abuse often go hand-in-hand

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, financial or economic abuse is present in 98 percent of relationships where domestic violence occurs. Of course, women and men who aren't in physically abusive relationships can also be victims of financial abuse. Many of them don't even realize it until it is too late.

Sometimes, that realization comes when the marriage ends. The spouse (usually the woman) finds that she has no money or credit of her own. Meanwhile, her credit rating may have been decimated by her spouse's activities. In some of these relationships, the husband doesn't allow the wife to work or gets her fired by disrupting her workplace. Therefore, she has no immediate earning power of her own and difficulty finding employment.

Talking about child support and child custody at once

Child support and child custody are sometimes linked after a divorce in Connecticut. For example, if one parent has custody all of the time, the other parent may be asked to pay more in child support since that first parent has to give up time, effort and much else. This is seen as a way of balancing things out.

Of course, this also works the other way around. If a parent works hard to even things out as far as custody time is concerned, the amount of support required could go down. As a parent, you may want to take this relationship into account.

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