Month: November 2016

EMERGENCY MOTIONS

In Connecticut, divorces, post judgement motions and child custody issues can sometimes take months or even years to be resolved. Experienced divorce lawyers who practice in Westport, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan and who are faced with an issue in a case that requires immediate court intervention will consider applying for a restraining order, protective order or temporary injunction. These “emergency motions” are often the most efficient way to get a temporary decision on a time-sensitive issue; they are usually presented to the Court along with an affidavit signed by the applicant (the party requesting the relief) and decided based on the Application itself (without a hearing) on an ex parte basis (without notice to the Respondant).

Restraining and Protective Orders. Applications for Restraining Orders and Protective Orders are requests for judicial intervention and orders to confine the respondent’s actions or prohibit specific behavior for a brief period pending notice and hearing. In Connecticut, restraining orders and protective orders are typically filed when there is a continuous threat of imminent physical harm to the applicant or the applicant’s children. There are different types and levels of relief that are available, ranging from orders that the Respondent not contact the Applicant, orders that the Respondent must leave the marital home, to orders of temporary custody of minor children. The Applicant may also request certain limited financial orders in conjunction with a Restraining Order.

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PARENTING PLANS IN CONNECTICUT DIVORCE CASES

I am often asked, “What is a typical parenting plan in a divorce case”? Many people believe (assuming the mother works part-time or is a “stay-at-home” mother and the father works full time) that the children will be with the father as follows: (a) every other weekend from Friday evening through Sunday at dinner time and (b) have dinner with him one evening a week. While this may have been common practice 20 or 30 years ago, it is no longer typical.

Many top Fairfield County divorce lawyers will tell you that the every other weekend concept more commonly (a) starts on Friday and ends on the return to school Monday morning, or (b) starts on Thursday after school and extends to Sunday evening or Monday morning. A major factor in this determination is where both parties live and work in relation thereto. If the parties reside in, for example, Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Stamford, Westport or Fairfield, and the father commutes to New York City, and has little flexibility with his work schedule, then the parenting plan would be more reflective of those from 25 years ago. However, if the father has some flexibility or works close to where he lives then it is more common for every other weekend to expand and have an additional midweek overnight.

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STARTING THE DIVORCE PROCESS

You finally summoned the courage to call a “divorce attorney.” Now what?

For many clients, the most difficult day of the entire divorce, is the day initial contact is made with a divorce attorney. Thoughts of divorce may have been festering for a long time. Or sometimes, there is a spontaneous revelation such as the discovery of an e-mail or a text message, which prompts that call. Regardless of the reason, the actual prospect that you may be divorced suddenly hits you in the face once you start the process. It is a scary proposition for most.

Clients are often referred to divorce attorneys through other people, including friends, family, therapists, and financial planners. Others, because they don’t have these personal contacts on which to rely or because they choose to be discreet, find their divorce attorney on line.

It is most typical that a brief phone conversation takes place between the attorney and potential client, after an initial conflicts check is performed. This serves as a preliminary screening to determine whether it is appropriate to set up an initial office consultation and also includes a discussion of the financial terms of that consultation. Some lawyers in Westport, Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, charge a fee for an initial office consultation; others do not. It is important to discuss that during the preliminary phone conversation.

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CHILD SUPPORT PART I: A BRIEF OVERVIEW

“How can I ensure the financial well-being of my children?” is one of the most frequent questions posed to divorce lawyers in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, and Westport. Divorce is a difficult time for families and all parents want to know that their children will be taken care of both during the pendency of the litigation and long after the final papers are signed. Obtaining support for minor children is therefore one of the most significant issues in a divorce or separation proceeding, and Connecticut courts take the matter very seriously.

Child support cases can sometimes become difficult, depending on the particular circumstances of a given case. This multi-part series will discuss some of the major issues and considerations associated with child support in Connecticut.

Child support stems from a parent’s statutory and common law duty to support his or her minor children. Support payments are meant to cover a broad range of expenses for the minor child, including but not limited to basic necessities such as shelter, food and clothing. Under most circumstances a parent has a duty to support his or her minor child until that child is emancipated or reaches the age of eighteen; in the case where a child does not graduate high school by the age of eighteen, child support payments typically continue until the earlier of the child’s graduation from high school or the child’s nineteenth birthday. Child support is typically paid from one parent to the other parent on a monthly or weekly basis. Payments can be made via cash, check, direct deposit or through a wage withholding order on the payor’s earnings.

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Attorney Carole Orland served as the moderator of the Family Law section of the Connecticut Bar Association Professionalism Symposium at the Stamford Courthouse, November 3, 2016

Attorney Orland facilitated the discussion of the attendees and the panel which included four of the Judges sitting on the Stamford Family Docket. Attorney Lauren Healy was on the Planning Committee of the event and had the pleasure of providing the introduction of Judge Erika Tindill, who spoke during the plenary session of the event. For More Details.