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Hartford Family Law Blog

How can you maximize college financial aid as divorced parents?

If your children are young when you divorce, you may not give much thought to how their college will be paid for. However, that day will come soon enough. These days, few parents can pay for their children's college education without financial aid. It's best to discuss how college will be paid for as you work out the divorce settlement, even if your children are still tykes.

If you're at the point where your kids are looking at colleges, it's essential to understand that as divorced parents, there are additional complications to applying for financial aid. However, with some careful planning, you can get the largest amount of aid to which you're entitled.

Consider the tax ramifications of your divorce settlement

When negotiating a divorce settlement, it's essential to keep in mind the future tax implications of all of your decisions regarding property and other assets. Too often, what looks like a good deal at the time of the divorce can cost you more money than anticipated when you file your tax returns, both in the upcoming year and in the future. That's why it's often advantageous to have tax and financial advisors in your camp in addition to an experienced Connecticut family law attorney.

Many couples deal with transfers of stock, property and other assets that have significantly increased in value during their marriage. It's important to know before you agree to a transfer that may sound quite profitable just what capital gains or appreciation in value will need to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service and who will be responsible for paying the taxes on those capital gains and appreciation.

Why living close to your ex can be an advantage for everyone

Many of our readers likely have lived in New York City or have friends or family who live there. Most of us can agree that there are advantages and disadvantages to residing in NYC. However, as a recent "New York Times" article pointed out, the proximity of neighbors to one another can be a plus for divorced parents who want to remain close to their kids, regardless of what the custody situation is.

Some divorced couples in New York, while living apart, are still in close proximity -- in the same neighborhood or even in the same building. Logistically, this is an advantage because kids don't need to lug as many belongings back and forth between two homes. Further, if something comes up that one parent has to go out, the other one is nearby to take the kids.

Get your financial house in order before divorce

Many couples in Connecticut and throughout the country wait until after the holidays to set the wheels of divorce in motion. That's one reason why January has the unfortunate moniker of "divorce month."

Even if you are just contemplating divorce, it's wise to get your financial house in order sooner rather than later. It's not too early to consult with a family law attorney as well as other professionals such as investment and financial planners, a tax advisor and perhaps even a forensic accountant. They can work to help ensure that you have a clearer picture of where you stand financially if you divorce.

How can you be a better divorced parent in the new year?

Along with the usual new year's resolutions of exercising more, eating healthier and sticking to a budget, if you're a divorced parent, you've likely resolved to do some things differently in 2016 to make life less stressful for your kids and for yourself. This may be particularly true if you and your ex had some issues with holiday custody, visitation and activities.

One psychoanalyst offers some suggestions for resolutions that may not always be easy to keep, but will benefit your kids:

New England couple won't be allowed to 'undo' their divorce

Most couples who divorce never give any consideration to getting back together. They move on to new, often happier lives. It's not unheard of, however, for divorced couples to rekindle their relationship and remarry each other -- hopefully all the wiser for what they've gone through.

One New England couple, however, has tried a different route. They've been asking that their divorce be overturned. The New Hampshire couple had been married for 24 years when they divorced last year. The two later reconciled and filed a joint motion this March to vacate their divorce decree.

Handling divided time with your kids over the holidays

The holidays can be among the most stressful times of the year for divorced parents. Whatever religious holidays you celebrate, your child will likely have a break from school at the end of the year.

Chances are that whatever arrangement you and your ex work out for spending this time with your kids, you'll end up being unhappy with it at some point, either because you miss your kids when they're with their other parent or you'd like an evening or two to yourself while it's your turn to have them.

$25 million in artwork on the line in high-asset divorce

A high stakes divorce playing out in a New York court involving some 20 pieces of art with a value of about $25 million may seem like nothing that most of us can relate to. However, some of the issues that it brings up can be relatable to many Connecticut couples. The case demonstrates, among other things, the importance of prenuptial agreements as well as properly classifying your assets during a divorce.

The location where the divorce should be litigated is also in question. The case involves Maurice Alain Amon, an art dealer, and his wife Tracey Hejailan-Amon. According to the wife, her husband removed the artwork from their home on Fifth Avenue before he sought a divorce. The papers were filed in Monaco.

Why focusing on your daughter's self-esteem during divorce is key

Every divorcing parent should be sensitive to the impact of his or her break-up on his or her children. However, experts note that helping daughters maintain their self-esteem during this time should be a particular focus. One study found that overall, boys cope better with parental divorce than girls do.

Girls' self-esteem can be fragile and impacted by any number of outside influences, including peers, the media and family. It can also be influenced by how they see their parents treat each other.

Father and stepfather reach settlement in custody case

A unique child custody battle has been playing out here in Connecticut, but it finally seems to have been settled, at least for the time being. It involves the biological father and the stepfather of two teenage children.

The children's parents, who were living in Newton, divorced back in 2005. The mother was given primary custody of the children. She later remarried and the family moved to Fairfield where she and her new husband raised the children.

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