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Hartford Family Law Blog

Tips for a smooth summer of co-parenting

Summer can be one of the most challenging times of the year for divorced parents. While you generally can spend more time with your kids and get away on vacation at some point, changes in schedules can be disruptive. That's particularly if true if your relationship with your ex-spouse is less than amicable. Even if you co-parent well with your ex, planning is key to a summer that's relatively conflict-free and enjoyable for everyone.

Following are some important tips for summer break planning:

Can you do a secret paternity test?

If you have questions about a child's real parents, you may be thinking of conducting a paternity test without telling anyone. After all, there may be information that you don't want to get out, as it could harm the relationship.

For example, a woman who had an affair may not be sure if her husband is really the father of her child, and she may want to know for sure, but she doesn't want to tell the father or the child about the affair—especially if her suspicions are wrong and the husband is the child's father after all. This is merely one example, but it shows why people consider carrying out tests in secret.

The 'Panama Papers' reveal spouses' efforts to hide money

The files recently leaked from Mossack Fonseca has come to be widely known as the Panama Papers. The documents belonging to the global firm, which provides legal and trust services, have received considerable media attention because they detail just how much money some wealthy, powerful people throughout the world have hidden in offshore accounts.

Sometimes people use offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes in their home country. However, in some cases, the goal is to avoid having spouses, ex-spouses and soon-to-be-ex spouses find it, even with the help of attorneys and forensic accountants.

Dealing with your child's graduation as divorced parents

High school graduations are just around the corner. This can be one of the most stressful times for divorced parents, particularly if they've done their best to avoid interacting with each other since the break-up.

Graduation is one of those events where you have to find a way to be in the same place with your ex and likely your ex-in-laws and behave civilly for the sake of your child. You're celebrating his or her accomplishment. It shouldn't be about you.

Why would a divorce attorney turn you down as a client?

When you're going through a divorce, finding an experienced family law attorney is essential. However, attorneys don't have to take you on as a client.

Most family law attorneys are interested first and foremost in helping their clients get a fair settlement. If there are children involved, they want to work to do what's in their best interests.

Proposed law would help women deny rapists parental rights

Connecticut state legislators are considering changing current state law that prevents women from seeking to terminate custody and visitation rights of their rapists for children conceived from the rape if their assailant wasn't convicted of the rape.

Advocates for the change say that in many cases, men end up pleading guilty to lesser charges that don't include rape, which allows them to have custody and visitation rights of the child if they choose to. Further, according to one former Connecticut lawmaker and advocate for victims of sexual violence, only 2 percent of people charged with rape are convicted nationwide.

Facebook breakup tool can help ease the pain of a divorce

When people are in a happy relationship, they often share a lot about it on Facebook. If that relationship ends, whether it's a long-married couple divorcing or teenagers breaking up, it can be difficult to avoid having your ex's posts and photos popping up.

While unfriending or blocking an ex are options, many people don't want to take such extreme measures, particularly if the break-up was amicable. Perhaps they just need some time to heal.

What can celebrity divorces teach us?

\We've all seen those "Celebrities – They're just like us" photo spreads in magazines. In some cases, they actually are. At least, they are subject to the same laws as everyone else.

Celebrity divorces get a lot of media attention to be sure. Most Connecticut couples think that these break-ups have nothing to do with their own. However, there are things that all divorcing couples can learn from them. You may not have the assets that Ben and Jen, Maria and Arnold or Ashton and Demi have. However, let's look at what they did right. It can benefit you.

How is child custody determined in Connecticut?

It's always preferable in divorces when parents can reach an agreement regarding child custody on their own, with the advice and guidance of their attorneys. If they're not able to do that, the matter will go before a judge, whose job it is to determine what's in the best interests of the children. Even if parents are able to agree on a custody arrangement on their own, a judge must still review the custody agreement to make sure that the children's best interests have been considered.

There are two types of custody in Connecticut -- physical and legal. Physical custody involves where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent. Legal custody refers to who will make crucial decisions in children's lives involving things like education, religion and medical care. Even if sole physical custody is granted to one parent, a judge may determine that the parents should share legal custody.

Why alimony is often critical for older divorcing women

Women who divorce in their 50s and older often face the problem of having to support themselves after many years out of the full-time workforce. Many put their careers aside to be stay-at-home moms and never went back to them.

Time away from work can pose a problem for anyone who needs to seek employment that will support them, particularly when so much has changed technologically over the past few decades. In many cases, the job they had no longer exists. However, despite the economic recovery that's occurred in recent years, studies show that long-term unemployment among women over 50 has increased disproportionately when compared with other demographic group.

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