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Westport Family Law Blog

How To Avoid Choosing The Wrong Divorce Attorney

The attorney you choose to guide you through the divorce process will play a critical role in the outcome of your case. Choosing the wrong attorney can prove costly, time-consuming and ultimately impact the division of property, child custody and more. Thankfully, there are measures you can take to increase the likelihood of choosing the right attorney for you.

Is Divorce Public In Connecticut?

Divorce is a private matter. Most people would prefer to keep it confidential, particularly when they wish to limit the disclosure of sensitive or proprietary financial information or trade secrets. Some cases involve allegations of salacious information that could potentially harm a person's character. However, divorce is a matter of public record in Connecticut.

How Effective Are Premarital Agreements In Divorce?

People going through a divorce often assume that challenges to premarital agreements are impossible. However, not all premarital agreements are enforceable. The Connecticut Premarital Agreement Act, passed in 1995, lists a variety of factors that could potentially make the premarital agreement unenforceable in a divorce.

Is There An Alimony Formula?

People going through a divorce often want to know whether the court will award alimony and, if so, the amount and duration of the alimony award. Judges are not limited to a strict formula, which makes it challenging to predict the exact amount of an alimony award. Instead, judges are guided by numerous statutory factors. 

The Tax Burden Of Alimony Has Shifted

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, starting January 1st of 2019, alimony payments will no longer be deductible from a payor's income, nor will they be taxed as income to the payee.

This change represents a dramatic change in the federal tax law as it pertains to divorcing couples. Experts have speculated that the change in the tax law could lead to several consequences, ranging from a race to resolving divorces before the end of 2018 to people simply no longer initiating actions to dissolve their marriage. In reality, these forecasts may be extreme. However, for those whose divorces involve alimony claims, also known as spousal maintenance, there will be changes.

How To Prevent Financial Devastation In A Gray Divorce

Gray divorce, the term describing couples over 50 years of age who wish to dissolve their marriage, is on the rise. In fact, the divorce rate for people over 50 doubled since 1990, and tripled for people over 65. While these couples typically do not need to address child related issues like child custody, they do face a much greater risk of drastic changes to their financial condition.

What Can Divorced Parents Learn From Angelina Jolie?

Actress Angelina Jolie and her ex-husband, actor Brad Pitt, have been in the news recently due to their ongoing child custody battle. Jolie was accused of preventing Pitt from communicating with their six children by cell phone. Summer custody of the children was also an issue.

According to an article from NBC, a temporary custody agreement was ultimately reached. Nevertheless, the Court warned Jolie that she risked losing physical custody of the children if she did not allow the children to develop relationships with their father. The judge said:

Dividing A Business In A Divorce

For many divorcing couples, the most substantial asset to be divided is a business owned by one or both of the spouses. The value of this asset, not to mention the emotional component involved in family-owned businesses and businesses that individuals built from the ground up, means that this is often a source of contention. Knowing the rules of property division as they apply to businesses can be beneficial.