NORWALK DIVORCE LAW BLOG
The process of mediating a divorce can be a great alternative to traditional divorce litigation. For many, a private process that allows them to work through complex financial and child custody issues can be appealing. For others, the financial benefit of mediation which eliminates costly motion practice and costly attorney’s fees are enough to convince them to give mediation a try. Unfortunately, all the benefits aside, mediation is simply not a one size fits all solution to every divorce action. More and more litigants are approaching mediation not as a true alternative to litigation, but a prerequisite to traditional litigation. As a result, they are surprised when the process doesn’t produce the desired result. Mediation is a process that works best when both parties are prepared to communicate, are open and honest about their finances, and are open to negotiating for the sake of compromise. If you are considering mediation, here are three signs that divorce mediation may not be the best method to resolve the issues in your divorce.
In Connecticut, once you and your spouse have reached an agreement that provides for the allocation of your assets, distribution of your debts, and for the custody and support of your child(ren), you may request that the court schedule an uncontested divorce trial. If you are represented by an attorney, he/she will gather all the appropriate paperwork and help you prepare for the uncontested trial. If, however, you are self-represented, it is important that you prepare all the documents the court will require in advance of the uncontested date in order to proceed as quickly as possible. Below is a list of the standard uncontested documents required by the Connecticut Superior Court in order to grant your divorce. Additional documents may be necessary, so be sure to check with your local clerk’s office in advance of your uncontested dissolution date.
- Divorce Agreement (Form: JD-FM-172): The court requires a written agreement signed by the parties which reflects all aspects of the parties’ agreement regarding allocation of assets, distribution of debts and liabilities, etc.
If you are in the process of filing, or have just been served with a divorce complaint in Connecticut, you may find yourself inundated with documents which contain language that might as well be written in a foreign language. However, it is important that all litigants are aware of certain key dates in the divorce process. One of the those dates is the case management date (this date can generally be found at the top of the summons, as well as in the body of the Notice of Automatic Court Orders), and what you do between the filing/service of the complaint and case management date may very well dictate how quickly your divorce will be completed.
Connecticut imposes a 90 day “cooling off period” from the filing of an action for divorce before the court may grant the parties a divorce. This 90-day period can be very useful for negotiating the terms of the divorce or narrowing the issues for trial. At the end of this 90-day period the parties will have to appear before the court at a mandatory conference. This conference occurs on what is called the case management date. (more…)
As individuals are posting more and more of their personal day-to-day thoughts, whereabouts, and photographs on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it should come as no surprise that lawyers are turning to the internet to mine this data to assist them in preparation for litigation. However, both obtaining and admitting this information into evidence is proving a challenging task. Attorneys wishing to obtain information in the form of photographs, status updates, wall posts and messages are faced with the challenge of privacy concerns, and authenticating the information once received. Similarly, judges who aren’t familiar with the functionality of social media are faced with the challenge of applying archaic evidentiary rules to this modern fast moving technology.
When it comes to obtaining an individual’s social media history through discovery, New York courts have found that the information obtained from social networking sites are at a minimum discoverable. In an August 2011 decision, Romano v. Steelcase, Inc., Judge Spinner of the New York Supreme Court, Suffolk County, ordered a plaintiff to turn over the contents of her Facebook and Myspace (more…)
Connecticut General Statute § 22-357 has been commonly referred to as Connecticut’s “dog bite statute;” however, a recent decision rendered by Judge Radcliffe of the Judicial District of Fairfield may warrant a rename of the statute to the “dog bite and drool statute.” The case, Fritz v. Lemarier, CV106013051S, Feb. 23, 2012, questioned whether a plaintiff can maintain a law suit where she was not bitten by a dog, but instead slipped on either water spilled by the defendant’s dog, or the dog’s drool.
Although the plaintiff did not suffer her injuries directly as the result of an actual dog bite, the court nonetheless allowed the plaintiff to maintain her suit. This was due to the very broad language of the “dog bite” statute. The statute allows a plaintiff to bring suit “if any dog does damage to either the body or property of any person . . .” Compare Connecticut’s statute to California’s far more restrictive statute which allows a “person who is bitten by [the dog]“ to bring suit. (more…)
As a result of recent changes to the Connecticut Practice Book sections 3-3, 3-4, and 3-5, the Connecticut Judicial Branch has revamped the Connecticut Appearance form. One notable change comes at the end of the form in the certification section and requires that parties who have sent the appearance via electronic delivery acknowledge that they first received written consent from all attorneys and self-represented parties receiving electronic delivery. The changes come on the heels of a slew of practice book revisions aimed at addressing e-discovery and electronic communications between counsel. (more…)
The Internal Revenue Service recently expanded it’s Innocent Spouse Relief program by announcing that it will extend help to more innocent spouses by eliminating the two-year time limit that now applies to certain relief requests. Some of the changes to the Innocent Spouse Relief Program include:
- The IRS will no longer apply the two-year limit to new equitable relief requests or requests currently being considered by the agency.
- A taxpayer, whose equitable relief request was previously denied solely due to the two-year limit, may reapply using IRS Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, if the collection statute of limitations for the tax years involved has not expired.
For years same-sex couples have fought for the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage. Now that certain states have granted them this right; they now bare a harsh consequence of divorce not felt by their heterosexual counterparts. Currently five states have granted same-sex individuals the right to marry, including Connecticut which became the 3rd state to allow same-sex marriage in 2008 in the Supreme Court’s decision in Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health (more…)