Posts tagged with "amicable divorce"

Non-Adversarial Divorce in Connecticut

Non-Adversarial Options For Couples Thinking About Divorce

A non-adversarial divorce in Connecticut is a process that aims to minimize conflict and promote cooperation between the parties. The goal of a non-adversarial divorce is to reach an agreement without the cost and hostility of an adversarial, litigious divorce. Couples work together to resolve issues such as property division, custody, support, and alimony without extensive litigation or courtroom battles.

Non-adversarial divorce options include:

Collaborative Divorce: In a collaborative divorce, spouses and their attorneys commit to resolving the divorce without going to court.  Working together in a series of four-way meetings saves time and legal fees. In these meetings the couple and their respective lawyers negotiate a settlement agreeable to both parties. The parties and their lawyers sign a collaborative agreement that neither party will litigate. Everyone involved in a collaborative approach agrees that staying out of court is in everyone’s best interest.

Mediated Divorce: In a mediated divorce, an impartial third party, known as a divorce mediator, assists the couple in reaching agreements and settling their issues. The mediator facilitates discussions and helps spouses find common ground.

Uncontested Divorce: An uncontested divorce occurs when spouses agree on all terms of the divorce without the need for litigation. In certain cases, the couple can file a joint divorce petition and a settlement agreement with the court. The parties need to meet certain criteria to file a non-adversarial joint petition. If you want to know whether you qualify for a non-adversarial joint petition, ask a family law attorney or divorce mediator.

Limited Scope Representation When You Need Help With A Specific Issue or Family Law Matter

With limited scope representation, a lawyer provides legal assistance only for specific aspects of the divorce process. An individual or couple may need a lawyer just to review documents or advise them on a narrow issue. Limited scope representation allows the parties to keep costs down and retain control over their divorce and still receive legal guidance in their divorce.

The Advantages of Non-Adversarial Divorce

Non-adversarial divorces have several advantages. The advantages of a non-adversarial divorce are reduced stress, lower costs, faster resolution, and a greater focus on preserving relationships which is important when children are involved. It is important to note that these approaches to divorce might not be suitable for all situations, especially if there are complex legal or emotional issues.  Before pursuing a non-adversarial divorce, both spouses should consult with an experienced family and divorce law professional to understand their rights, responsibilities, and the best approach for their unique circumstances.

If you have any questions about the different types of non-adversarial divorce in Connecticut, please contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or email We offer free consultations with all of our skilled legal professionals. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

Dividing Assets in Divorce

Dividing Marital Assets in Divorce

Connecticut is an equitable division state. What that means is the court will look at many factors when dividing assets between spouses. Equitable does not mean equal, and it doesn’t always mean the division will be fair and equitable if you leave the outcome to a judge. One way to ensure the division of your assets accrued during the marriage is equitable, is to work out an agreement with your spouse. Divorce Mediation is a process where you and your spouse can work together and decide on a fair division of your assets. This process is preferred over letting a court decide, and hoping for the best.

Couples contemplating divorce have many concerns such as the well-being of their children. Once the couple works through the issues of custody and parenting, they need to start thinking about the division of their assets of the marriage. Here are some things to consider when dividing assets in a divorce in Connecticut:

  1. Marital Property vs. Separate Property: Understand what assets are considered marital property (acquired during the marriage) and what are separate property (owned before marriage or received as gifts/inheritance). Marital property is typically subject to division although separate property can also be subject to division in certain situations.
  2. Equitable Distribution: Connecticut follows the principle of equitable distribution, which aims to divide assets fairly, though not necessarily equally. Consider factors like the length of the marriage, each spouse’s contributions, and financial needs.
  3. Valuation of Assets: Determine the value of assets like the family home, investments, retirement accounts, and any valuable possessions. Accurate valuations are crucial for a fair division. Use a certified real estate appraiser to find the fair market value of the family home.
  4. Debts: Don’t forget about debts, such as mortgages, credit card debt, and loans. Decide how to distribute these liabilities.
  5. Future Financial Needs: Consider your post-divorce financial needs, including housing, daily expenses, and potential education costs. Ensure that your settlement supports your financial stability.
  6. Children’s Interests: If you have children, their well-being is a priority. Consider their housing needs, education, and overall comfort.
  7. Tax Implications: Be aware of the tax consequences of asset division. Certain assets might have tax implications when transferred or sold.
  8. Retirement Accounts: Splitting retirement accounts requires specific legal documents like a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Understand how this process works.
  9. Non-Financial Contributions: Consider non-financial contributions made by each spouse during the marriage, such as the parent who remained at home to raise children or sacrificed a career to support the other spouse’s career.
  10. Liquid vs. Non-Liquid Assets: Differentiate between liquid assets (easily converted to cash) and non-liquid assets (take time to sell, like real estate). Decide how to handle each type.
  11. Negotiation vs. Litigation: Decide whether to negotiate asset division through mediation, collaboration, or go through litigation. Divorce mediation where you negotiate directly with your spouse and not through lawyers or court can often result in a more amicable outcome.
  12. Long-Term Impact: Think about how the asset division will impact your financial situation in the long run. Make decisions that set you up for a stable future.
  13. Professional Advice: Consult financial advisors, accountants, and family and divorce lawyers to get expert guidance tailored to your situation.
  14. Documentation: Keep records of all financial information and communication related to asset division. This can be helpful in case of disputes.

Remember that every divorce is unique, so the best approach may vary based on your individual circumstances. It’s important to consult professionals who specialize in divorce and financial matters to ensure you make informed decisions.

Written by: Attorney Mediator Susan Wakefield

If you have any questions about dividing marital assets in your divorce, contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 and ask to speak with one of our experienced family lawyers or divorce mediators about your divorce or family law matter. We offer free consultations to discuss divorce and all other areas of practice offered by our firm.

Divorce Mediation & Parenting Agreements


Divorce mediation is a cooperative process for parents wanting to discuss issues regarding custody and parenting. Parents with children must work out a schedule that includes how they will share time with their children as well as care and support their children. The parenting plan also includes the parent’s custody rights and financial responsibilities like legal custody and child support. Also called a parenting agreement, this document outlines how parents will share time and care and support their children. The agreement also states how parents will make decisions to ensure the well-being of their children after divorce. 


A top priority for all parents is the best interests of their children. A detailed parenting agreement is critical to ensuring that the children’s best interests have been addressed. A divorce mediator can assist a couple communicate, negotiate and create their own parenting agreement. A divorce mediator will help a couple explore different options and work towards an agreement that feels fair to each parent. Although a divorce mediator cannot provide legal advice, instead they will help the parents arrive at mutually acceptable solutions on their own. An agreement created by the parents themselves is more likely to be followed. If one parent is unhappy with the agreement, the parents can wind up back in court after the divorce. 


A parenting agreement ensures clarity and consistency for parents and children. A parenting schedule will also address unique circumstances related to the children’s needs. Special circumstances such as medical conditions, special needs and educational differences will be addressed in the agreement. The agreement will provide how parents decide on the activities children participate in and sharing the cost of activities. Parents need to know their financial obligations before they sign the agreement. The agreement will also address what happens if one parent wants to relocate. In Connecticut, if one parent wants to relocate with the children, the other parent must consent. A parent must petition the court for permission to leave the state if the other parent does not consent.


The parenting agreement will outline how major decisions will be made by the parents. Major decisions include decisions about education, healthcare, and religious upbringing of children. Parents that agree to make decisions together have joint legal custody. Sole custody is when one parent has sole decision-making. Communication between parents is important. Couples with children must be able to communicate effectively about the children’s activities, where they attend school, school progress, and health. The parenting agreement will include day-to day parenting time and how parents will share holidays and school vacations with the children.


The divorce mediator can prepare the parenting agreement. The parenting agreement will contain everything the parents agreed to about custody, parenting time and supporting their children. A mediator who is also a lawyer can prepare legal documents. A non-lawyer mediator cannot prepare legal documents. It is important to note that while divorce mediators can assist in creating a parenting agreement, the divorce mediator does not represent either parent. Therefore, it is a recommended that each parent have an independent attorney review the parenting agreement before finalizing it and signing. An independent review by an attorney helps ensure the parent understands the terms and responsibilities contained in the parenting agreement and that the agreement complies with Connecticut’s laws and standard practices.


BY: Attorney Susan Wakefield, Attorney Mediator

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce attorney, divorce mediator, or one of our other skilled professionals, please contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221–3100, or email us at or Our firm offers free consultations in person or video conference to discuss the benefits of divorce mediation in helping you reach an agreement on custody and parenting in your divorce. We are also available to discuss any other divorce or family law matter.