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Hartford Family Law Blog

How gender may play a role in property division during divorce

Determining the division of property in a divorce can be one of the most time-consuming and potentially adversarial aspects of the process. This can hold true whether the divorce is mediated or goes to trial. Psychologists have found that what items and other assets matter most to the each of the two spouses involved, and even how they negotiate, can be impacted by their gender.

One study discussed something called the "endowment effect." This means that when people perceive that they own something, whether they legally do or not, they value it more. This tends to happen with physical objects like cars, furniture or other items in the house that they can touch.

Domestic violence charges can impact divorce, child custody cases

It is not uncommon for allegations of domestic violence to arise during a divorce or child custody battle. When someone accuses a spouse, ex-spouse or partner with domestic violence, law enforcement agencies and the courts usually err on the side of caution. This means issuing temporary restraining orders on the person accused of abuse to protect the other person in the relationship as well as the children.

An accusation of domestic violence can cause people to have to vacate their home, lose access to their children and even spend time in jail. If a restraining order is issued against a spouse, it can help the other one in future court proceedings.

Walmart heiress's husband seeking monthly alimony in 6 figures

Here's something to think about the next time you go shopping at your neighborhood Connecticut Walmart. The granddaughter of James "Bud" Walton, one of the company's founders, could be on the hook for $400,000 (before taxes) per month in spousal support to her estranged spouse.

Paige Laurie filed for divorce almost a year ago from Patrick Bode Dubbert. The couple, who were high school sweethearts, married in June 2008. During their years together as husband and wife, according to Dubbert, he got used to the kind of lifestyle that one would expect a Walmart heiress to live. Dubbert, who reportedly owned a shopping center with his wife in Malibu, California, says it will take him some time to find another job.

Connecticut candidate has history of unpaid child support

When a parent does not pay child support, he or she can face financial and criminal penalties. It can also harm that person professionally. Connecticut state Senate candidate Richard DeJesus is seeing his reported failure to pay child support come back to haunt him in the run-up to this month's election, even though his ex-wife has come to his defense. DeJesus was tapped by Bridgeport Democrats to run for the 23rd Senate District in the Feb. 24 special election.

According to a memo from Connecticut's Department of Social Services back in 2006, "The defendant has refused or neglected to support the children as provided by law." DeJesus and his wife, who divorced in 2005, have three children.

Making sound financial decisions during your Connecticut divorce

Recently, we discussed the various tax impacts on newly-divorced people. While it's always best if you can work together to minimize the tax burden on both of you, it's also important to get other financial advice as you go through this relationship transition.

Too many Connecticut residents make decisions in the midst of a divorce out of anger, hurt or other emotions. However, when finances are involved, it's best to have a clear head and sound financial guidance so that you don't end up doing something that could cost you later on, long after the emotional wounds have started to heal. One personal finance expert lists some important financial tips for anyone contemplating or going through a divorce.

Tax considerations for newly-divorced Connecticut residents

When you're in the midst of a divorce, chances are that one of the last things on your mind is how it will impact your taxes. Well, now that tax-filing season is here, it's time to think of how this important change in your life will impact your taxes.

Whether you are in the midst of a divorce or it has already been finalized, it's probably a good idea to see a tax professional even if you have always filed your own taxes (or your spouse has). You don't want to make any mistakes, and you want to ensure that you get any tax benefits due you.

How common was divorce in 17th-century Connecticut?

While many people think that divorce is a relatively modern concept, it can actually be found among our forefathers in Connecticut and the other original colonies. In fact, the group of English Protestants known as the Puritans who settled in New England could actually be called socially progressive when it came to marriage and divorce. After all, they came here to escape what they viewed as persecution by the Church of England and the King.

While divorce wasn't nearly as common as it is today, it wasn't unheard of. At that time, marriage was considered a civil contract rather than a religious. Therefore, there was less social stigma in ending a marriage than there came to be later in our history. Throughout the 17th century, residents of the Connecticut and Massachusetts colonies had about one divorce granted each year. That increased throughout the 18th century. Looking at a couple of early New England divorces, it appears that, as often happens today, monogamy was an issue.

Billionaire cites drop in stock valuation in fighting settlement

The wealth of many divorced people here in Connecticut who work on Wall Street is tied to the stock market and the price of various commodities. That's also true of people around the country. Such is the case for oil billionaire Harold Hamm.

The divorce of Hamm and his wife has made national news in part for the sheer magnitude of assets involved and the size of the judgment awarded to his ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall, last November. Now, says Hamm, the drop in oil prices that has made many drivers happy when they pull into their local gas station has impacted his net worth and his ability to pay the support ordered.

Important financial discussions for engaged Connecticut couples

While many people may believe that young adults are less likely to be fiscally responsible than their elders, some financial experts says that isn't the case. In fact, "millennials," those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, have been called the most fiscally-conservative generation since those who lived through the Great Depression.

One certified financial planner says that his younger clients are "very pragmatic and very cautious" about money. This may bode well for their marriages since money arguments have been shown to be the key predictor of divorce.

Are Wall Street divorces becoming meaner or just more public?

Has 2014 been a year of unusually-nasty divorces and break-ups for financial power players? Whether it actually has been or not, we've certainly been exposed to plenty of lurid details in the media. Such details can have serious ramifications beyond the couple involved.

Investment banker Sage Kelly and his wife Christina finally settled their case, but he resigned this month to "focus on family matters." Meanwhile, his ex-wife issued an apology for what she called "inaccurate, untrue or hyperbolic" things that appeared in the media. In her divorce documents, she alleged, among other things, that her husband used illegal drugs and participated in an orgy. The well-publicized allegations even impacted the stock prices of two biotech companies.

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