Divorce and Legal Separation

          When contemplating the filing of a divorce or legal separation there are many unanswered questions you may have such as what is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation?  Am I legally separated once the divorce is filed?  Can I leave the family home without being accused of abandonment?  What am I entitled to receive or what can I expect to pay as alimony and child support?  Connecticut is a "no-fault" state, what does that mean?  What does the court consider when determining support and allocating assets?

          Attorney O'Connor offers an initial consultations to provide potential clients with an understanding of the options you have in dissolving your marriage: litigation, mediation or a collaborative law process.  She will also explain the divorce process and the laws and guidelines concerning alimony, child support and property distributions.

Custody, Parenting Plans and Visitation

           How will the issue of custody be resolved and what is the difference between joint and sole legal custody?  What is joint physical custody and how will that effect child support? If you are concerned about the other parent's ability to properly care for the children, there are a variety of safeguards that may be implemented to address your concerns such as supervised parenting time; participation in an alcohol/drug evaluation and follow up treatment.

          Many people do not understand the difference between sole and joint legal custody.  Oftentimes, clients believe if they have sole custody, they can decide when and if my spouse will visit with the children.  This is not true.  Sole legal custody allows one  parent to make all the major decisions for the children.  Joint legal custody requires the parents to confer, consult and agree on all major decisions such as health, education, welfare, religion, etc.  Whether custody is sole or joint, the noncustodial parent will have parenting time with the children according to a court order or agreement of the parties.  The presumption in our law is that joint legal custody is preferred as it promotes the best interest of the children.  Physical custody is a term used to define where the children will primarily reside. Shared physical custody means the parents share parenting time without designating a primary parent.

Alimony, Child Support and College Education

          The most frequently asked question are how long am I entitled to receive or pay alimony and how much? How is child support calculated and how long will it be paid or received?  Will the children be covered under my spouse's health insurance coverage?  How long can I stay on the family policy under the federal "COBRA" laws?  How will health care expenses not covered by insurance be paid?  How can I go back to work and pay for daycare? And, how will the children's college tuition be paid?

           Attorney O'Connor will put your mind at ease by providing you with the answers based upon her many years  of experience in alimony, child support and post majority educational support.

Post Judgment Modifications and Relocation
          Issues often arise after the dissolution of your marriage where you can no longer afford to pay the court ordered alimony and child support, due to the loss of your employment, reduction in income, illness or disability.  It is also possible that your former spouse's income has increased and you believe you should be entitled to a reduction of your support payments.  Or maybe, the former spouse you are supporting is cohabitating or living with someone.  In Connecticut, a substantial change in circumstances since the time of Judgment may warrant an upward or downward modification of support.

          As children mature in age and as parents' work schedules often change, it may be in the best interest of the children to modify the existing parenting plan.

          We live in a transient society and not all divorced couples are able to reside in close proximity to one another due to a job transfer or a new marriage.  In Connecticut, in order to relocate it must be for a legitimate reason and in the best interests of the child.  Attorney O'Connor has litigated and settled many post judgment relocation matters.

Prenuptial Agreement
          In order for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable in Connecticut, it must be voluntarily and fair when it was signed and at the time of enforcement.  If a party did not accurately disclose their assets, income and liabilities or a party was not provided an opportunity to consult with an independent attorney, the agreement may not be enforceable.

          If you are planning your nuptials and would like to protect your premarital assets or perhaps the family trust or your interest in a closely-held family business, it is important to retain the services of a family law attorney experienced in this particular area.  Whether you are requesting the preparation of the agreement or if you need an agreement reviewed, Attorney O'Connor can guide you in the right direction.





203-744-2774


98 Mill Plain Road, Suite 3B, Danbury, CT 06811