Connecticut Divorce & Family Law Attorney
Divorce & Family Mediation
Often for religious reasons, the parties may choose to obtain a legal separation rather than a divorce. The process to get a legal separation is similar to that of a divorce. All the issues that are covered in a divorce are also covered in a legal separation. The difference is in the end result: when the court issues an order of legal separation, the parties are still legally married. However, similar to parties who are divorced, orders are entered for legally separated parties regarding custody, child support, alimony, and each party’s share of asset and debt division.
In 2015, gay rights advocates celebrated a landmark victory when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. This means that many federal benefits available to heterosexual couples can now be enjoyed by same-sex married couples. However, because a portion of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still in effect, states that still ban same-sex marriages are not required to recognize legal marriages performed in other states.
Same-sex marriage is accepted law in Connecticut. The process for divorce and legal separation is the same for same-sex couples as for heterosexual couples. Also, the same issues and statutory factors are considered for property division, custody, child support and alimony for same-sex couples as for heterosexual couples.
Parties who are not married but may have custody or property issues often need help in resolving their disputes. For example, unmarried parents of minor children may need help in resolving parenting plans and child support, or parties may have a dispute about jointly owned property.
Parents are required to submit a Parenting Agreement to the court which establishes the schedule each parent has with the children. “Parenting Plans” and “Parent Access” have become the more common terms that are used to describe the custody arrangement for your children. With over 30 years of experience in divorce and child custody law, Attorney Martin will assist you in fashioning a Parenting Agreement that addresses your needs, as well as those of your children. Whether the parties are participating in mediation (and assisted by Dr. Lucyk), or the collaborative process (assisted by the psychologist/coach), the parties have the benefit of the expertise of a psychologist in helping them fashion a plan that is in their children’s best interest. This part of your case cannot be underestimated inasmuch as it addresses your children’s future relationship with each parent, and how you go forward as a family after the divorce, with the parents now living separately.
Attorney Martin twice served as a member of the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines Commission, drafting Guidelines legislation and chairing a subcommittee to draft statutory exceptions to the Guidelines. She brings her knowledge of the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines as well as her extensive experience in divorce law to the table, whether working in mediation or collaborative divorce, to determine the most appropriate child support order.
An alimony award is based on a number of factors that the court must consider. Some of those factors are the length of the marriage, the cause for the breakdown of the marriage, the age, health, occupation, income, education and employability of each party, and the needs of each of the parties.
With over 30 years of family law experience in handling complex divorce and family law cases, Attorney Martin assists her clients in determining an appropriate amount of alimony. Some cases may require consulting with a financial expert, such as a CPA, to help the parties understand the tax issues that have a bearing on alimony.
Property division is based on a number of factors that the court must consider. Some of those factors are the length of the marriage, the cause for the breakdown of the marriage, the age, health, occupation, income, education, employability of each party, the financial liabilities and needs of each of the parties, each party’s contribution to the acquisition of the assets, and the opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
Attorney Martin brings her extensive experience in handling complex divorce and family law cases to the table, whether working with mediation or collaborative divorce clients, providing creative options for them to consider in resolving the financial issues relating to their divorce.
Circumstances may change after divorce that may necessitate a modification of your Agreement. One of the parents may wish to relocate, or a party’s income may change. Either of these changes could result in a modification of the parenting schedule, and a possible modification of support.
With over 30 years of divorce and family law experience, Attorney Martin offers her clients personalized and skillful representation in the areas of post-divorce modification of custody, child support, and alimony.
Parties who choose to have their case resolved through mediation may wish to seek the opinion of a divorce attorney for guidance during the mediation process. In this role, Review Counsel helps the client understand the legal issues and is available to review proposed settlement agreements. For those parties who would like a second opinion from a divorce attorney regarding a proposed settlement in a litigated case, review counsel can help a client by advising as to whether the proposal is fair and equitable.
Attorney Martin was appointed by the court to serve as a Special Master for the Family Court in the Hartford Judicial District and has been serving in that capacity since 1992. This court-provided service offers parties in litigation an opportunity to have their case reviewed by attorneys who have extensive experience in family law cases.
Attorney Martin also offers this service privately at her office for those parties who wish to have their case resolved without court intervention.