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Stamford Family Law Blog

When student loan debt results in divorce

Money problems often lead couples to divorce in Connecticut. In particular, student loan debt is stressful for younger couples. According to Student Loan Hero, roughly 33% of debtors said their divorce happened because of money disagreements, and student loans were responsible in one out of eight cases.

The size of student loans has skyrocketed in the last decade. Three times more people have more than $50,000 in student loan debt compared to 10 years ago. Over the same time, the average balance has risen more than 60% to over $34,000. A couple saddled with these types of debts may be unable to purchase a home or pay for a wedding.

Insurance needs could change after a divorce

When a couple's marriage is ending, both spouses might be covered by a single health insurance plan. A couple in Connecticut may also have purchased a life insurance policy prior to the divorce. It is important to review these policies and how they may change after a marriage comes to an end. In some cases, a life insurance policy may be considered a marital asset depending on when it was purchased.

Life or disability coverage may also be worth purchasing during the divorce process itself, and it can be especially important for those who will receive spousal support. It can make sure that a recipient is paid even if the payer dies or is too hurt to work. Typically, the recipient will make premium payments as it gives that individual more control over the policy after the marriage ends.

Cooperative parenting isn't always an option

Ideally, parents are able to work together to raise their children. However, there are circumstances in which a parent in Connecticut or another state may need to protect their child from the other parent. This may be true in the event that a parent has threatened another family member whether it is an adult or a child. Parents may also not be able to work together to raise a child if one of them is currently in jail or prison.

In some cases, one parent may try to make the other look foolish or otherwise unfit to raise a child. This is referred to as parental alienation, and it can have a negative impact on both a parent and a child. In such a scenario, a parent may expect a child to favor him or her at all times, which can put a young person in an awkward situation.

These factors may indicate a divorce is inevitable

Connecticut couples who are in committed relationships may truly care for their partners. However, there is no guarantee that their relationships will last forever regardless of their intentions. One problem that could spell the end of a union could be the fact that an individual invalidates the emotions of his or her partner. In some cases, this is not done intentionally, but it can have the same impact on the person who has experienced this.

Another sign that a relationship could end is that one or both parties to the relationship have unresolved trauma. These issues could involve infidelity or anything else that was a problem in past relationships. Lies about money could cause trust issues between romantic partners that they cannot get past. It is important for couples to have common ground when it comes to their finances if they want to be in a strong relationship.

Divorce and your child's college tuition

Forming a divorce agreement has mostly to do with what you and your spouse want, but there are also some requirements the court may order if it does not feel that personal agreement does not go far enough. Education is one of those areas.

Generally speaking, Connecticut courts will order child support for your kids until they complete 12th grade or until their 19th birthdays. There are also some other provisions in this law that concern disabled or married children.

What to do after the divorce is finalized

Many people who go through a divorce in Connecticut feel ready to start a new life. While they may be anxious to do this, there are certain steps that will need to be taken in the time after the divorce has been finalized. This will protect the recently divorced individual financially and help them as they make their new start.

One thing to look at is medical insurance. If a person was on their spouse's insurance, they will need to secure their own. If a person has their ex-spouse on their health insurance, they need to notify their insurance carrier in order to have the individual removed from the policy.

Shared physical custody becoming more common

In Connecticut and around the country, courts have been moving towards including shared physical custody arrangements as part of a divorce order. More courts are doing so unless other issues exist that would make it a poor choice.

Historically, courts awarded women sole physical custody in nearly all of the cases. In 1980, for example, sole custody was awarded to women in 83 percent of the cases. By 2008, that rate had dropped to 42 percent. Cases in which custody is shared equally also increased during that time, from 5 percent in 1980 to 27 percent in 2008.

3 myths about co-parenting

One of the most difficult aspects of getting a divorce is figuring out custody and visitation. In an ideal situation, you and your ex will co-parent in some capacity. Custody may not be 50/50, but having both parents actively involved with children is what the courts prefer. Research shows that co-parenting is ideal for children, as long as there are no abuse or substance problems with either parent.

Still, you may be hesitant about the idea of co-parenting. There are plenty of misconceptions about this type of dynamic. Here are some common myths about co-parenting you should stop believing. 

How to make coparenting after divorce more effective

When parents in Connecticut get a divorce, they usually must remain connected in some way through their children. There will be times when both parents need to be present at important events in their children's lives. When this happens, they should make an effort to get along.

Prioritizing the best interest of the child is how exes should handle other co-parenting situations as well. As long as the child is not in danger with the other parent, their relationship should be encouraged. Children should feel they can talk about their relationship with the other parent, but they should not be placed in the middle by being asked to carry messages back and forth between parents. Parents can use online tools to improve communication and keep physical calendars in their homes so that they and their children can see the schedule.

Mortgages can't always be assumed

Those who own a home in Connecticut may believe that they can assume a mortgage in a divorce. However, this is not necessarily the case, so it is a good idea to read the mortgage document before deciding on what to do with a marital home. Since 2008, it has become less common for a mortgage to be assumable. Even if a mortgage can be assumed by another person, there is no guarantee that it will be allowed to happen.

A lender will need to check an individual's credit score, income and other variables before allowing it. In that regard, a loan assumption is a lot like a loan refinance. Individuals are cautioned against assuming that taking over a current loan is always better than refinancing. Having the ability to spread the current loan balance over 30 years may result in a lower monthly payment.

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