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Stamford Family Law Blog

What happens to the family pet in a divorce?

The dissolution of a marriage can be a very stressful time for couples who are seeking to separate their once-entangled lives. When most people hear the word divorce, they often conjure up the idea of who gets what with regard to tangible property. Recently, Connecticut has witnessed an uptick of divorce cases involving pets, which is creating a tipping point for some couples. Who gets the fur baby when both parties may have a vested interest in the family pet?

Most Connecticut residents own pets and often consider them a family member. The debate about who gets the pet when the household is separated can often become a heated issue, especially when the couple has no children or other pets. When the situation of pet ownership and custody become a concern, most judges will treat the animal as property.

Family law may be contemplating the future of frozen embryos

Connecticut couples who face the unfortunate circumstances of infertility have multiple resources available to help with the process of becoming parents. Advances in reproductive technology have allowed many of those who suffer from the inability to conceive naturally a way to still experience the joys of pregnancy and parenthood. What is concerning many family law advocates at this time is what to do with frozen embryos should the once happy couple decide to separate?

A judge in another state has recently ruled that a recently divorced couple's frozen embryos be donated to a local fertility clinic. The woman was devastated, as she had planned to use the embryos to start a family without her ex-husband, after dealing with cancer had forced them to take the in vitro route in the first place. After the couple split, the now ex-husband says he does not want to father any children.

Are victims of domestic violence guilty too?

Connecticut currently holds the highest rate of dual arrest in regards to domestic abuse arrests. Victims of domestic violence who decide to take a stand against their abuser and physically fight back may find themselves charged with domestic abuse, even though they were not the dominant aggressor. New legislation is currently being sought to change the wording to allow Connecticut police to make the distinction and, hopefully, encourage more victims to speak out.

A woman who alleges she is a victim of domestic says that she had endured months of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her significant other. When he had her pinned against a dresser and was repeatedly punching her, she decided she had had enough and fought back. Th woman was able to free herself, grab her newborn daughter and flee the apartment. She went straight to her local police station.

Child custody pursuit reaches outside of the United States

When a Connecticut marriage breaks down, adults often face emotional and physical stress. Should children be involved, the stakes become more tumultuous. When one parent has the means and family support to leave the state or country, the other parent often fears that he or she may never see his or her child again, even when a child custody agreement is in place. A mother in another state fled the country with her then 5-year-old son. When authorities learned of the circumstances surrounding the flight, they sought legal recourse and are in the process of returning the child to his father and holding those involved in the international kidnapping responsible.

The parents of the mother were recently arrested for the role they played in the deception surrounding the kidnapping of their grandson. The mother, a resident in another state, was in the process of a divorce with a joint custody agreement in place. She misled the child's father, saying she and their son would be attending a family wedding in Brazil. She failed to mention that she had no plans of returning to the United States.

State takes more child support than what is owed

The Connecticut family court system dictates the amount of financial support a noncustodial parent is obligated to pay to the custodial parent on a child's behalf. Should a parent experience a substantial change in financial circumstances, modifications to child support agreement can be possible, but must be made by formal petition through the courts. Informal changes made without the knowledge or consent of the court can lead to missed payments, interest accrual and legal intervention. But what happens when a parent's paycheck is garnished for payments after the child has become emancipated?

A father in another state learned that child support payments were still being taking out of his paycheck, even though his child had turned 18. When he contacted the agency responsible for the garnishments, he was told that his case was closed and the payments would be returned to his employer that would, in turn, return them to him. This was back in July 2017.

Connecticut man taken into custody after domestic violence call

Most people who do not suffer from the abuse at the hands of another assume that the violence takes place between spouses or those in an intimate relationship. Anyone can suffer from domestic violence, as it can happen to anyone in a domestic setting, like a marriage or cohabitation. One Connecticut man was recently taken into custody after allegedly assaulting his mother and fleeing the scene.

The police were called by the 59-year-old woman after an an argument with her son about his lack of rent payment. When the argument became heated, the woman tried to call the police, but her son pushed her down. She then fled to her bedroom, locking herself in. He followed her and broke through the door. The man then allegedly took the phone from his mother and hit her several times in the head with it and then ran from the house.

Technology complicates divorce issues for Connecticut residents

When a Connecticut spouse who has been in an abusive or controlling relationship decides to end the union, that person's significant other may not be ready to move on. Controlling and abusive partners can make leaving the relationship, filing for divorce and working through divorce issues a fearful and stress-laden event. Advances in technology have made access to a person's whereabouts, phone conversations and other private matters legally available to almost anyone who wishes to track that person using a GPS or tracking application installed on that person's cell phone.

A woman who wishes to keep her identity hidden to safeguard her and her child says that her ex-husband was once a very devoted and loving person. She never thought he would become the obsessive, manipulative and controlling individuals he is now. After a disagreement one evening, her then-husband told her that she was his and no one else's. This was the point that made the victim realize she had to leave her husband and seek safety.

Child support isn't in arrears until a payment is missed

For many Connecticut couples, remaining together in a relationship is not an option. When children are a part of the relationship, one parent may be ordered to pay child support to help the custodial parent with the financial aspect of raising the children. When circumstances prevent an obligated parent from making payments, legal recourse is an option for the parent who is left financially hurting. But in most circumstances, a court will not act on a petition for relief until the obligated parent has missed a payment.

A judge has dismissed claims made by Harvey Weinstein's ex-wife. She feared that the disgraced movie director would fall behind on child support payments in light of the many sexual harassment claims made against him. Eve Chilton, Weinstein's ex, fears he will be broke soon and not be able to make the remaining $5 million in payments he owes and wants that money to be set aside for her benefit. 

Victims of domestic violence deserve help

Relationships and marriages may end for any number of reasons, but none may be quite so upsetting or dangerous as abuse. Domestic violence is an extremely sensitive topic that can be difficult to discuss, but victims of abuse can seek protection through Connecticut's legal system. In most cases, protections against an abusive partner or ex can be put into place even in the absence of an arrest.

When seeking court-ordered protection, showing proof of abuse or threats can be difficult and emotionally overwhelming. However, doing so is often necessary for obtaining restraining orders. In cases where proof is not immediately available or there is otherwise an emergency situation, courts may issue an emergency restraining order that goes into effect on that same day.

January is the month for Connecticut divorce

It is a well-known fact among many Connecticut attorneys and family court officials that January is a season of separation. Divorce filings seem to skyrocket in the month of January, and the reasons are as scattered as the wrapping paper on Christmas morning. With New Year's resolutions being made, the need for changes in one's life may spark the desire for ending a marriage that has been riddled with issues for some time.

Many marriage counselors believe that the dynamics of a relationship play a huge part in the decision to separate from a spouse. One therapist notes that couples usually seek counseling or a divorce after a problem has been persistent in the marriage for about seven years. Add to the persistent problem the stresses and financial shortfalls that the holiday season can bring, and couples feel the compounded stresses as a beacon calling for calming waters.