Who Gets the House? How Connecticut Handles Property Division

When you and your spouse make the decision to divorce, two major and often contentious issues arise. One, if there are children, is child custody. The other is how marital property will be divided. In other words, who gets the house? Or the retirement accounts? Or the summer cottage that your spouse’s parents gave him a couple of years ago? Worrying about asset division should not make you feel petty or greedy. In Read More

Understanding the Key Differences Between a Connecticut Legal Separation and a Divorce

Like so many issues facing you when you are considering a divorce, the differences between separation, legal separation, and divorce can be confusing. For example, it is not unusual for a couple to live separately for awhile before filing for divorce. Most of them use this trial separation as a breather to decide what they really want to do about the relationship. This is not the same as a legal separation. Read More

The Long Game and Divorce

My dad Larry is a great golfer.  My grandparents, uncles, aunts, and now my brother-in-law Keith and colleague Ann are great golfers. My family even holds all celebrations -- from retirement parties to baby showers to after funerals -- at golf courses. I am no golfer. I took one golf class to fulfill my phys ed requirement at Mount Holyoke and then hung up my clubs (except for the six-some I play in once a year at Read More

Mad Men, and Why Your Divorce Doesn’t Have To Be Like Don Draper’s Divorce(s)

This post was a family affair – with substantial insights and contribution from Ginna Freed, Meghan's mother.  As one half of a 45-year marriage, she is widely considered a better resource on the institution than Don Draper.  She also remembers some of the '60s, and remains unconvinced by Mad Men's depiction of the Moscow Mule cultural phenomenon. In honor/mourning, AMC’s sister networks are blacking out all Read More

Divorce Service Via Facebook in New York — is Connecticut Next?

Articles are flying around the internet about New York Justice Matthew Cooper's decision that Facebook is an acceptable alternative method for Ellanora Arthus Baidoo to serve her husband. According to court documents, Ms. Baidoo's husband "has no fixed address and no place of employment."  More, "[h]e has also refused to make himself available to be served with divorce papers" and the "post office has no Read More

How is Divorce Mediation Different from Traditional Divorce Litigation?

The courts of this country should not be the places where resolution of disputes begins. They should be the places where the disputes end after alternative methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried. —Sandra Day O’Connor More often than not, our mediation clients tell us that they can't believe more separating spouses don't choose to mediate their divorces.  Their most popular theory -- one Read More

Estate Planning and Financial Loose Ends After Divorce

Following the emotional and financial turmoil of a divorce, people are understandably focused on their own well-being, helping their children through the transition, and moving on to the next chapter of their lives. This can lead to their forgetting to consider the impact a divorce has on their estate plans – such as wills, beneficiary designations, powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives (living Read More

Cohabitation After Divorce: Living with a New Partner Can Impact Alimony

Many people are aware that a remarriage can end a former spouse's alimony, but not everyone realizes that cohabiting after a divorce can also affect alimony. This is a particularly important issue given how many couples are choosing to live together rather than marry.  The percentage of married households in the United States has fallen to a historic low; census data cited in a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center Read More

What Do Boardwalk Empire and Reese Witherspoon Have to Do with Whether I Have to Go to Court to Finalize My Connecticut Divorce?

Two years ago, inspired by an episode of Boardwalk Empire, I wrote a post about how there is no (and never has been any) such thing as federal divorce. In the same episode, Nelson Van Alden received a divorce petition in the mail, accompanied by a note from his wife which read: "Please attend to this as soon as your activities allow." Boardwalk Empire is one example of the many television shows and Read More

Is There A Waiting Period Before I Can Get Divorced in Connecticut?

Currently, under Section 46b-67 of Chapter 815j of the Connecticut General Statutes, you are required to wait a minimum of 90 days from the "Return Date" (the official start date of your case).  All deadlines and statutory periods are measured from the "Return Date," but is important to keep in mind that after your attorney completes your Summons, Complaint, and Notice of Automatic Orders, time is needed prior to the Read More