Tag: divorce

EXCLUSIVE OCCUPANCY

In many divorce cases, one party voluntarily moves out of the marital home, leaving the other party with exclusive use and occupancy of the premises. The much more likely scenario, however, is that both parties refuse to voluntarily vacate the marital home, often due to their desire to remain with the children and/or a lack of financial resources to maintain two residences. In such situations, often one party will file a Motion for Exclusive Possession asking the court to order the other party to vacate the premises.

As top divorce attorneys in Greenwich, Westport, Stamford, Darien, or New Canaan will tell you, the party moving for exclusive possession is required to indicate the grounds upon which he or she is seeking such a remedy. While no specific grounds have been established for granting exclusive possession of the marital home, there are some factors that the courts have considered more than others.

One factor that the courts have considered when deciding on a motion for exclusive possession is the nature of the relationship between the parties. For example, the mere fact that the parties dislike each other is typically not sufficient to justify exclusive possession of the marital home. However, the courts may be inclined to order exclusive possession of the marital home where the conditions indicate the existence of physical or psychological abuse between the parties, particularly in the presence of minor children.

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WHAT DIVORCE PROCESS IS RIGHT FOR ME? PART I – MEDIATION

Divorce touches almost every family in our state. According to statistics published by the Judicial Branch from the time period of July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, nearly 33,000 family cases were added to the already crowded docket. Just as no two marriages are the same, no two divorces are the same either. If you are a person living in Greenwich, Westport, Stamford, Darien, or New Canaan contemplating divorce, you have several options to choose from. Generally, the options fall into four main categories: (1) Mediation, (2) Collaborative, (3) Litigation, and (4) Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”). At Broder & Orland LLC, we counsel individuals as to the positives and negatives of each category. This four (4) part series will discuss some of those points, starting with mediation.

MEDIATION

In strict mediation, the divorcing couple works with a neutral mediator whose job is to help facilitate and/or broker a comprehensive agreement on all issues related to the divorce including legal custody, physical custody, alimony, child support, housing, division of bank, brokerage, and retirement accounts, and the division of personal property.

Theoretically, this is the most idealistic of the main categories because it involves the couple working together to resolve their issues outside of the courtroom in an expeditious manner at a minimal cost. However, in application, mediation often does not follow the idealistic path. Generally, for a mediation to be successful, each spouse needs to (a) fully trust one another, (b) be on equal footing with regard to knowledge of his/her finances, and (c) be invested in truly wanting to get divorced.

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MODIFICATION OF ALIMONY IN CONNECTICUT BASED ON COHABITATION

What happens to alimony if the alimony recipient lives with a significant other after the divorce? This is one the more common questions we at Broder & Orland, LLC hear from our clients, as cohabitation after divorce is becoming more common in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Typically, alimony ends upon the remarriage of the alimony recipient. What happens if the alimony recipient decides to live with a significant other rather than get remarried is a more complicated issue.

Top divorce lawyers in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, and Westport know that, unless the parties agree otherwise or a judge orders otherwise as part of the final orders in a divorce case, alimony orders are modifiable based on the cohabitation of the alimony recipient. Those paying alimony need to know what their rights are in the event that an ex-spouse is cohabiting. Likewise, those receiving alimony need to be aware that living with a partner after the divorce could put their alimony award at risk.

In Connecticut, we have what divorce lawyers refer to as a “cohabitation statute,” though the statute itself does not use the word “cohabitation.” Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-86(b) says:

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LOCATING HIDDEN ASSETS IN A DIVORCE

In many divorces, particularly in Fairfield County, Connecticut, it is common for a party to suspect his or her spouse of hiding assets. Methods of hiding assets can be simple, such as filling a safe deposit box with valuables, or skimming cash from a small business. The less obvious methods of hiding assets are more frequently overlooked– such as pre-paying or over-withholding taxes, overpaying credit cards, using a corporate entity to conceal or transfer funds, establishing a trust to “shield” assets, or failing to disclose equity interests.

Top family lawyers who practice in towns such as Westport and Darien understand the possibility of undisclosed assets and take the necessary steps to discover them. For example:

Insist on a signed, sworn Financial Affidavit thirty days after the return date. Connecticut Practice Book Section 25-5(c)(1) requires the parties in an action for Dissolution of Marriage or Civil Union, Legal Separation, Annulment, or Application for Custody or Visitation, to complete and exchange sworn Financial Affidavit within thirty days of the return date. Believe it or not, this rule is often ignored and rarely enforced. There are instances where one spouse may take months to provide a signed, sworn Financial Affidavit, simply because they have not been pressured to comply with the Practice Book, and the Court is not made aware of the delay.

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CHILD CUSTODY IN GREENWICH, CT – PART 1

What will occur if the parties cannot agree is an expensive, long and drawn-out case in which the children will become directly involved.

· What is Legal Custody?

Often at a consultation, a client will walk in and tell us he/she wants custody of the children. However, what most people do not realize is that the overwhelming majority of divorcing couples throughout Connecticut have joint legal custody of their children. This is true even in some of the most contentious cases.

As any top divorce lawyer in Greenwich, Westport, Stamford, Darien, or New Canaan will tell you, legal child custody can generally be defined as the parent who is responsible for the major decisions that impact the well-being of the children. More specifically, legal child custody in Connecticut is based on who makes health, education, and religious decisions concerning the children. At Broder & Orland LLC, we find that most people actually agree on these issues. For example, if the children are doing well and are happy in their current school, there is no education issue to address. Further, people generally agree to follow the child’s pediatrician or appropriate physician’s advice in caring for his/her health and medical well-being. With regard to religion, a child is often already involved, or not involved, with a religion. We rarely see disagreements in this area.

· Who becomes involved in Child Custody Cases?

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WHEN THE DIVORCE GETS DOWN TO POTS AND PANS…LITERALLY.

Top divorce lawyers who handle Greenwich cases know all too well that the division of personal property can end up being the most emotional part of the case. It seems incomprehensible that divorces where a party is a high earning hedge fund or private equity professional devolve over who keeps what art, furniture, antiques, and yes…in some cases, pots and pans!

Experienced lawyers, who practice in Greenwich, know that the battle is really not so much about these material possessions, but rather a vindictiveness resulting from unresolved marital discord or an inability to let go of the marriage, even if it was a bad one.

Courts loathe to waste precious time assigning personal property for obvious reasons. Arbitration for determining who gets what is sometimes used as a last resort when all other attempts to work out personal property fail. Typically, this involves the parties employing a neutral person, often another attorney, to break the logjam.

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