Law Office of Robert A. Skovgaard Main Menu
Toll Free 877-380-5663 Local 203-883-4506

Stamford Family Law Blog

Don't let child custody problems ruin your summer time fun

For many people in Connecticut who divorce after a new year arrives, the onset of summer is truly like a breath of fresh air. Especially if they are custodial parents, they look forward to traveling with their children, building new and lasting memories and supporting each other as they adapt to their post-divorce lifestyles. Hopefully, communication with former spouses is amicable, as that tends to make everything child-related much easier. However, when child custody or visitation disagreements arise, summer fun might be put on hold. Overcoming such obstacles is often possible, if you know where to turn in a pinch for appropriate support.

There's no set law in this or any other state saying a divorced parent cannot travel with his or her children, unless of course there are extenuating circumstances that prompt the court to issue such an order. Generally speaking, many people include stipulations regarding summer and/or holiday travel in their custody agreements; others simply act respectfully to notify the other when planning to take children on vacation, then seek the court's approval of their plans when necessary. Problems can occur when one parent opposes the other parent's travel plans.

Child custody battle focused on what defines a parent

Not every child-related situation in Connecticut courtrooms involves married mothers and fathers. In fact, some child custody battles occur between people who were never married in the first place. An ongoing litigation in another state happens to be between two women.

Although some believe the custody fight over a young boy has to do with issues about the rights of same-sex couples, others say it's not about that at all. While the two parties are, in fact, women, and they did have a sexual relationship at one time, the principal issue is that one of the women legally adopted the boy (the parties separated about 18 months before the adoption was approved, and just one of the women completed the process) and the other eventually stood as his godmother. The adoptive mother of the child subsequently decided to move with him back to her native homeland in Great Britain, but the godmother initially halted those plans by filing an application in court the day before the mother and child were set to travel.

Who determines whether sole custody or other arrangement is best?

Anyone in Connecticut who reads online news, watches television or glances at magazine headlines in grocery store checkout lines likely knows a little about various Hollywood stars' courtroom battles regarding their children in divorce. Some people, such as Angelina Jolie, were said to have asked the court for sole custody of their kids. Others were okay with the idea of shared arrangements but wanted to litigate certain issues pertaining to their situations.

Parenting is often a rewarding yet challenging task. When two people divorce, emotions run high and each has a personal opinion on what is best for the children involved. The court, of course, has the final say on such matters but often takes parental opinions and needs into account before rendering final decisions.

What if the kids stayed put and parents move out after divorce?

Many Connecticut children go from residing with both parents to moving back and forth between single parent households when their parents' marriages end. Although some children are able to adapt to their new lifestyles others suffer tremendous emotional trauma. Since most parents want what's best for their children, especially in divorce, some are trying a new type of parenting plan that allows children to remain in the same home they shared when their parents were married.

This new system is catching on in many areas. It's called "nesting," and it involves parents coming and going to stay with children in the original house they shared pre-divorce. It all works on a rotating schedule, and when it's not a parent's turn to reside with the kids, he or she simply lives in a separate residence. Many people believe divorce nesting causes much less disruption to children's lives, which in turn may help them better adjust to their new situations.

Judge scolds Baraba Evans in court over child custody situation

Teen Mom 2 fans in Connecticut are likely aware of an ongoing contentious situation between reality TV star, Jenelle Evans, and her mother, Barbara. The older Evans has custody of her 7-year-old grandson, but the boy's mother won a small victory in court recently when the judge said the grandmother can no longer restrict visitation. Jenelle Evans said she's happy but at the same time devastated that she still does not have full child custody of her own son.

The two Evans women are estranged from each other; in fact, Jenelle Evans reportedly didn't even speak to her mother when the judge handed down his recent decision. In doing so, the judge told Barbara Evans she needs to start focusing on what's best for her grandson, not her own interests. Jenelle Evans says she plans to continue to fight for full custody when the time is right.

Extenuating issues complicate child custody case in another state

Connecticut parents who divorce typically understand that the process ahead is bound to be wrought with challenge. After all, severing marital ties, especially when children are involved, is a major life-change to which all parties need to adapt, which isn't always easy. If there are extenuating circumstances, as there appear to be in a recent out-of-state child custody case, things can get quite complicated in the courtroom.

This particular situation began several years ago when a 16-year-old girl entered a relationship with a 21-year-old man. The girl lived with her mother at the time, who was adamantly opposed to the relationship; in fact, the divide between the girl and her mother grew so wide, the girl wound up with no roof over her head. She and her boyfriend asked his parents if they could live with them, but the request was rejected.

Are you worried about hidden assets in divorce?

When you decided to sever your marital ties in a Connecticut court, you probably imagined various types of scenarios that might occur during proceedings. Perhaps, you and your spouse would disagree about child custody issues or need help negotiating a new parenting plan for life after divorce. Maybe everything would run smoothly and achieving an amicable settlement would be much easier than you assumed.

There's another possibility, however, that may also have run through your mind, which includes acrimonious courtroom battles regarding serious financial issues or assertions made against one spouse by the other. For instance, many people have faced situations where they suspect certain assets are being hidden from them so as not to become subject to property division in court. This state operates under equitable distribution laws, as do all but nine other states in the nation.

Is it or is it not a domestic violence incident?

There are various types of relationships, many of which can be quite complicated. From married couples in Connecticut, to parent/child connections, romantic relationships and siblings or step-family situations, people often struggle to get along. When arguments arise or relationship problems escalate, allegations of a domestic violence incident may be made.

Yale University conducted a particular study on numerous domestic violence issues. At least 300 women said they were abused by intimate male partners. Twenty-four percent of participants said their abuse involved being held at gunpoint.

Obstacles that get in the way of post divorce happiness

Connecticut couples who decide to end their marriages in court often face numerous types of challenges as they navigate the process. No one claims divorce is easy, and adults and children alike rarely survive such situations unscathed. Sometimes emotional scars run deep; for others, life after divorce is wrought with financial stress or child/parent relationship problems.

No two situations are exactly the same, but there are certain roadblocks common to many post divorce situations that can impede one's ability to move forward to a happy and successful new lifestyle. One problem involves thinking the grass on the other side is always greener. The old saying can be applied to those who want what their former spouses have rather than embracing their own states in life. Seething with jealousy because a former spouse enters a new relationship, makes more money or gets a brand new car does more harm than good.

Alex Jones' former wife asks for sole or joint custody of kids

Before a Connecticut court hands down a decision regarding children and divorce, there's often a lot of back-and-forth between parents in the courtroom. Typically, a judge listens to testimony and makes an informed decision based on existing laws, guidelines and children's best interests. Some situations are quite contentious, such as a current battle between Infowars star, Alex Jones, and his former wife, who seeks sole or joint custody of their three children.

A divorce case manager testified recently that Jones is very compliant and only wants what the "experts" say is best for his kids. Jones was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. He was advised to seek counseling, and the court was informed that he indeed followed that advice.