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Hartford Family Law Blog

New Connecticut law expedites divorce for some couples

A new Connecticut law that went into effect Oct. 1 will expedite the divorce process for some couples in our state who are seeking a "non-adversarial" divorce. The law allows qualifying couples to get a divorce in just over a month. This is about two months sooner than the usual three-plus months the process usually takes.

Under the new law, a couple who meets the following requirements can file a joint petition to dissolve their marriage without the 90-day waiting period or having to appear in court:

Acclaimed actress Glenn Close announces divorce

The spate of divorces among high-profile couples that we saw over the summer seems to be continuing into the fall. Just this month, the publicist for Glenn Close announced that the acclaimed actress and her husband David Shaw had ended their nine-year marriage.

As many of our readers may know, Close originally hails from Greenwich, Connecticut. The 68-year-old actress comes from a long line of northeasterners.

How do you co-parent when you have conflicts with your ex?

When people with children divorce, most have to maintain some sort of relationship with their ex. Their role as parents, though changed, continues. While some couples find a way to have an amicable co-parenting relationship on their own, others need some help. These so-called "high conflict" couples can often benefit from family therapy, intervention, mediation or other types of support that can help keep their children from getting caught up in their parents' issues. They can minimize the negative impact of their parents' divorce on their emotional well-being.

Post-divorce family therapy can help parents work out a parenting plan that allows the children to feel safe and loved no matter which parent they are with and not be subjected to negative comments or actions by one parent involving the other. Sometimes, children of divorce can also benefit from therapy to help deal with the upheaval that their parents' break-up and possible ongoing battles have had on their lives. Since parenting plans will need to change as children get older and family circumstances change, such as with a remarriage or a move, regular review of this plan is often crucial.

Handling paternity issues for Connecticut men

Issues of paternity arise for a number of men in Connecticut. In some cases, a man is told by a woman that he is the father of her child when he's not certain whether he is or not. In other cases, a man wants to assert his rights as a father, including visitation or custody, but the mother of the child fights him.

Fortunately, now there are DNA tests that can establish within nearly absolute certainty whether a man is the father of a child. Obviously, the first step is determining whether you are the father of the child in question. If you aren't, that's the end of the question. If you are, then there are issues of child support, visitation, custody and more.

Helping your children through your divorce

All divorcing parents want to protect their children during this difficult time for the family. Studies on children of divorce have shown just what kind of impact their parents' break-ups had on them.

One study, which began in 2008, studied 3,600 children from kindergarten through fifth grade. It compared things like interpersonal skills and even math skills between children of parents who divorced and those whose parents remained married. The study showed the impact of divorce on children's self-confidence, personality and academic performance.

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.

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