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Shelton Family Law Blog

Dealing with student loans during a divorce

Debts taken on during the course of a marriage are generally considered part of the marital estate, and they are divided as part of a divorce just like assets are. This can lead to bitter disputes when the debts in question are student loans. Divorcing spouses may resent making payments on loans that helped their former husbands or wives to attend college, and in states with equitable distribution laws they may not have to. Connecticut is one of these states.

Some states have community property laws that require marital assets and debts to be divided equally, but the rules in Connecticut allow for unequal distribution if such an arrangement is more equitable. When deciding how to deal with student loans, judges in equitable distribution states will consider how much each of the spouses involved earns, whether or not the spouse who did not attend college supported the spouse who did and whether or not the spouse who attended college graduated with a degree. Judges will also study the loan documents to seen who signed them.

Can I refuse to comply with court-ordered visitation?

You may have heard many people say that having a child changes you. Perhaps you felt some of those changes after your child was born. Maybe you no longer enjoyed those reckless activities you once looked forward to, and maybe you had a new purpose in life.

When you became involved in a custody battle with the child's other parent, you undoubtedly went through many emotions. Like many parents in similar situations, you wanted full custody. The court order that granted you legal custody and gave visitation to your former partner may have been difficult to accept, especially if you and the other parent no longer get along. You may wonder now if you have to abide by that order.

What should you address in your parenting plan?

With everything you have to deal with during a divorce, your number one priority probably involves making sure your children move into their new lives with as little stress as possible. You and the other parent have the unique opportunity to create their future through your parenting plan.

When you sit down with the other parent to design this agreement, you want to make sure that you hit all of the important points. While you need to address their immediate needs for the next couple of years, you may also be able to include some flexibility to adjust the schedule as they grow and their needs change. The problem is knowing what issues to address.

USDA encourages child support requirements for SNAP

The federal Department of Agriculture is urging states like Connecticut to implement child support cooperation agreements for people receiving food assistance. The USDA guidance was issued to state agencies overseeing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, often referred to by its prior name, "food stamps." If implemented, this would mean that people receiving SNAP benefits would be required to cooperate with child support enforcement, including entering official child support orders and agreements where none currently exist.

SNAP is one of the most widely used government assistance programs across the country with around 40 million Americans receiving benefits. Many families receiving SNAP are single-parent households where children live with only one of their parents. Around 37% of kids with single parents live in poverty, and poor children's parents are far less likely to have official child support orders in place. There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon, from lower access to and understanding of the legal system to concerns about inability to pay. According to 2015 statistics, less than half of all custodial parents in poverty had a child support agreement in place.

Could a divorce alternative work better for you?

Screaming court battles over child custody, dividing assets and other divorce issues seem to be a stereotype about the divorce process. But is it the norm?

Many couples have found a way around this particular type of hostility. Ending a marriage does not have to mean going to war. There are a variety of divorce alternatives people can pursue for a much more peaceful divorce.

The benefits of a pet prenuptial agreement

Whether you found your pet as a stray, adopted it from a shelter or bought it from a breeder, it is likely that the animal quickly became a part of your life. You and your partner may have built a new routine around the animal, perhaps getting up early when the pet demanded food or keeping a flashlight by the door for late-night walks.

Although you bonded quickly with your pet, have you thought about what may happen if the bond between you and your partner faces a challenge? If you and your partner are getting married, you may want to protect your pet from becoming a pawn if you should ever divorce. Do you know how the state of Connecticut deals with pets whose parents are going through a divorce?

How the Social Security Administration deals with divorce

The Social Security Administration allows spouses to receive retirement benefits based on the contributions made by their husbands or wives if doing so would be advantageous for them, and this eligibility is unaffected by divorce as long as certain requirements are met. In order to receive benefits based on their former spouse's earnings records, spouses must have been married for 10 years or longer prior to divorcing, their former husbands or wives must be entitled to Social Security benefits, their spousal benefits must be higher than their individual benefits and they cannot have remarried.

When people meet all of these requirements, the Social Security benefits they receive can be as much as half of the benefits their former spouses are entitled to. To receive this amount, people must wait until they reach the full retirement age to begin claiming benefits. Those who choose to start receiving benefits at the age of 62 receive a reduced amount. The SSA bases an individual's full retirement age on the year they were born. For individuals born after 1960, the full retirement age is currently 67.

Clinging to tradition may result in divorce

Some husbands in Connecticut do not take it so well when their wives become the primary breadwinners. Research shows that such a situation often leads to divorce, especially when the partners harbor more traditional views toward marriage.

Over the past several generations, there have been tremendous societal gains in regard to women earning more in the workforce. Roughly 38% of wives now earn more than their husbands, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, studies suggest that many men want to act as leaders in their families. A man whose wife earns a phenomenal salary may feel inferior when she takes the lead role in their marriage.

Splitting on good terms may be easier with a divorce coach

Any Connecticut resident who follows the news has likely heard about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' divorce. What's remarkable to many people is how smooth the process went. One way for other splitting spouses to achieve a similar goal is to work with a divorce coach. This is an individual who helps couples navigate the divorce process in a way that's healthy and productive.

A collaborative divorce coach usually works with other professionals, including lawyers and financial experts. A coach who has mental health and mediation experience typically coordinates team efforts to keep everyone focused. In order to keep conversations moving forward, they may also provide extra support on the side if a spouse is stressed or having a hard time dealing with certain aspects of the negotiations.

Reasons to hire a divorce attorney

Reasons to hire a divorce attorney

It’s only natural to want to complete your divorce as quick and inexpensively as possible. While it’s true that you may save money by foregoing hiring an attorney, you may find the process more difficult without a legal background.

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