Posts tagged with "ct lawyers"

Choose Your Divorce Mediator Wisely

What to Look for in a Divorce Mediator

The decision to work with a divorce mediator instead of divorce litigation is wise. Mediation will save you time, money, and the stress of going to court. The next decision is choosing a divorce mediator. Here are the top ten qualities to look for in a divorce mediator. But first, be aware that there is a trend in divorcing couples choosing to mediate versus litigate. This trend has led to a flooded market of untrained divorce litigators practicing divorce mediation. Yet, many divorce lawyers are now mediating due to the stress and toxicity of divorce litigation.

Top Ten Qualities You Want in a Divorce Mediator

1- Experience


3- Empathetic

4- Attentive

5- Responsive

6- Affordable



9- Active Listener

10- Impartial

Go With Your Gut When Choosing a Divorce Mediator

Choosing a divorce mediator is like choosing a doctor or a therapist. You will be sharing the most personal and intimate information about yourself and your life. When I say go with your gut it means that when you interview a mediator, you will immediately get a feel for the person both professionally and personally. If something rubs you the wrong way, there is a reason. Move on. Given how many divorce mediators are practicing in your area, there is no need to settle for someone that does not feel like the right fit. Remember, choose wisely.

Spouses Should Select and Mutually Agree on their Divorce Mediator

It is not uncommon for a couple to interview several divorce mediators before selecting a mediator that feels right for their unique circumstances. Of course choosing a mediator needs to be by mutual agreement of both spouses. If both do not agree, and one acquiesces to appease the other spouse, the mediation process will not be as successful as one where there is mutual accord from the start on the selection of their divorce mediator.

Written by: Attorney Mediator Susan Wakefield


If you have any questions about divorce mediation, choosing a divorce mediator, or would like to speak to a divorce mediator or family law attorney, do not hesitate to contact our experienced attorney mediator and other skilled family law attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203)221-3100 or email We offer free consultations for all new clients. Our office in Westport, Connecticut services the entire state of Connecticut.

Divorce Mediation Grows In Popularity

Divorce Mediation Is More Popular Than Ever Before

Divorce mediation is growing in popularity among those contemplating divorce. With the help of an impartial third party who facilitates discussion and negotiations, couples avoid litigation and expensive legal fess. A mediator’s primary role is to guide the couple toward shared goals and creative options. In mediation, the couple maintains control over the outcome of their divorce. Couples are empowered and participate fully in their divorce process.

Top Ten Advantages of Divorce Mediation
  • The cost of mediation is generally much less than litigating in court
  • Mediation helps you arrive at resolution faster and avoid court delays
  • Couples maintain control over their divorce process and outcome
  • Parties make the decisions on how to divide their assets and debts, not a court
  • Parents can create their own personalized parenting arrangements
  • Focus is on shared goals, best interests of the family and looking toward the future
  • Negotiating in a safe environment with privacy and confidentiality
  • Improves relationships and communication bringing the family together
  • Empowering because parties go at their own pace
  • More successful co-parenting post divorce
Divorce Mediation Process

Divorce mediation involves a series of joint meetings with the parties and the divorce mediator. During the mediation sessions, the parties discuss their assets, debts, and other important financial matters. The parties disclose their bank accounts, retirement funds, investments, and debts. The parties reach an agreement on how to equitably divide their assets and debt. If children are involved, the parents will discuss custody, child support, parenting time, and education. Together the mediator and parties partner to discuss options and structure a settlement that both spouses feel is fair and equitable.

Couples Make Their Own Decisions

Divorce mediation puts both parties in charge of their divorce and settlement. Parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement rather than have a judge impose divorce settlement terms that neither party is happy about. The mediator keeps parties focused on what is most important while avoiding emotional and personal issues that can negatively impact negotiations. When a couple makes their own decisions and prepares their own settlement agreement, they are more compliant with the agreement and less likely to return to court after the divorce.

LGBTQ+ Community

For gay and lesbian couples, the dissolution of a civil union or same-sex marriage may raise a number of legal issues that require unique solutions. Mediation presents an alternative to traditional divorce litigation in a private, compassionate setting.

Schedule An Appointment

To schedule an appointment and learn more about our divorce mediation practice, call (203) 221-3100 or contact one of our family law attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C.  Susan Wakefield is a trained attorney mediator who has helped couples reach successful outcomes for over 30 years. Experience and Trust Matters.

If you have any questions about divorce mediation, family law mediation, or need help with a post-divorce matter, contact us at (203) 221-3100 or email or We service all of Connecticut including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

Divorce is Like a Fingerprint – Unique

Your Divorce is as Unique As You Are

Every divorce is like a fingerprint – unique. So, make sure you’re getting advice that’s right for your own situation. Couples want to make money side of things as smooth as possible during this bumpy time. Connecticut follows the principle of equitable distribution, which aims to divide assets fairly, though not necessarily equally. Factors to consider in an equitable division of assets are length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions, and financial needs to name a few.

Top Ten Tips to Prepare Financially for Divorce

  1. Seek Legal Support: Consult a divorce lawyer in Connecticut to guide you through the legal steps and explain your rights.
  2. Gather Financial Papers: Collect financial documents like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements.
  3. Understand Marital Property vs. Separate Property: Understand what assets are shared and acquired during marriage and those seen as separate such as assets owned before the marriage. Separate property can also be inheritance and gifts.
  4. Value Your Assets: Determine the value of your home, cars, possessions, and investments for a fair division of marital assets. Accurate valuations are crucial.
  5. Spousal Support: If one spouse earns more, the other spouse might be entitled to support support (alimony). The duration (term) and amount of alimony depend on many factors including length of the marriage, income, age, and education.
  6. Children and Child Support: Decide on custody of children, child support, and where the children will live. Work out a parenting arrangement that includes decision making and sharing time with the children.
  7.  Plan Your Finances: Make a budget to manage expenses after divorce. Two households cost more than one.
  8. Handle Debts: Sort out who’s responsible for debts acquired during the marriage and how to distribute these liabilities such as car loans and credit cards.
  9. Seek Professional Advice: Financial advisors, accountants, and lawyers can advise you based on your unique situation and tailored to your needs.
  10. Mediation and not Litigation. Negotiate your asset division through divorce mediation or collaborative divorce. Mediation can result in a more amicable outcome.

 Other Things to Consider In Your Divorce

  1. Update Important Documents. After the divorce, change names on insurance, retirement accounts, and relevant papers. Prepare a new Last Will and Testament.
  2. Future Financial Needs: Consider your post-divorce financial needs, including housing and daily expenses. Ensure your settlement supports your financial stability.
  3. Children’s Interests: The well-being of children is a priority. Consider their housing needs, education, and overall comfort.
  4. Tax Implications: Be aware of the tax consequences of asset division. Certain assets might have tax implications when transferred or sold.
  5. Retirement Accounts: Splitting retirement accounts requires specific legal documents like a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Understand how this process works and make sure the QDRO is prepared soon after the divorce is final.
  6. Non-Financial Contributions: Consider non-financial contributions made by each spouse during the marriage. These include staying home to raise children, sacrificing a career to support the other spouse’s career, and relocating for your spouse’s new job.
  7. Liquid vs. Non-Liquid Assets: Differentiate between liquid assets which easily convert to cash and non-liquid assets such as real estate which takes time to sell.
  8. 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.
  9. Documentation: Request a certified copy of your divorce judgment and divorce agreement. 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 an attorney who specializes in divorce and family law and divorce related financial matters to ensure you make informed decisions.

If you have any questions about divorce and how to prepare for divorce, contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203)221-3100 or email or We offer free consultations to discuss your family law, custody, or divorce matter. Our office is located in Westport, Connecticut. We services the following areas: Westport, Norwalk, Greenwich, Stamford, Easton, Weston, Darien, Southport, Fairfield, Stratford, Milford, New Haven, New Canaan, Trumbull, Wilton, and Ridgefield.

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.

Shared Legal and Physical Custody Is Becoming More Popular

 Judges Are Finding that Shared Custody is In the Best Interests of Children

More parents are agreeing to shared custody when they divorce. Under Connecticut law, there is a presumption that joint legal custody is in the best interests of the children. Legal custody means both parents make important decisions about their children together. The law can be found in Connecticut General Statutes 46b-56a(b).  In exceptional circumstances, such as physical abuse or substance abuse, sole legal custody may be awarded. The term physical custody means where the children primarily live. There was a time when one parent, usually the mother, had primary physical custody. The other parent, usually the father, would have parenting time with the children. Now there is a trend toward the children living with both parents. It is now more common to see expanded parenting plans. In these cases, the parents share both legal and physical custody of their children. The children will live with both parents according to a parenting arrangement in the divorce agreement.

What Factors Do Judges Consider When Awarding Shared Legal and Shared Physical Custody

  1. Do the parents live in close proximity to each other making it easier to transport the child to school without a lengthy care ride for example.
  2. Ability for the parties to co-parent – consistent if not similar rules in each house makes transition back and forth easier. However children can adapt to different rules in each parent’s home.
  3. A judge will consider how the parents treat each other and communicate – are they able to be civil and work together. Conflict between the parents is unhealthy for the children.  A shared custodial arrangement takes cooperation, mutual support and respect.
  4. Child’s preference – as the child gets older, their preference is more considered. This does not mean that children get to decide the custodial arrangement. The child’s preference is just one factor to consider.
  5. Stability in each home environment. A judge is going to evaluate each parent’s home to ensure the children will be safe, secure, and well taken care of. The well-being of the children is always paramount.
  6. Does the child have special needs and how will those needs be met and handled in each household.

Movement Toward Shared Physical Custody and Shared Parenting

There appears to be a movement towards the presumption of shared physical custody as well as shared legal custody. The courts need to look at all factors to ensure the parenting plan is in the best interests of the child. In most divorce matters, the parents have either a shared or very expanded parenting plan. This trend shows that parents can work together and communicate. The well-being of their children is always the priority. When parents work with a divorce mediator, they can be creative with their parenting plans. Parents maintain control over the parenting arrangement rather than letting a judge decide. When both parents work, the parenting schedule must be flexible. Cooperation is key when work demands require a parent to change the schedule at the last minute. In the end, the parenting schedule has to meet the needs of the children and both parents for it to succeed.

Best Interests of the Children

The phrase “best interests of the child” is the key factor when creating a parenting plan or parenting schedule. When parents live farther apart or one parent lives out of state, the parties have to work out a more creative parenting schedule. In these cases, a shared parenting schedule might not be possible. One parent might have more vacation time like school holidays and time in the summer. Courts encourage parental involvement and advise the parties to work together to share their children in the best way possible. Remember, these are your children. Connecticut courts are making it increasingly difficult for one parent to control a parenting schedule for financial gain. For example, to avoid child support because of a sharing parenting arrangement. Parental alienation and using children to “get back” at the other parent is not tolerated by the court. The courts expect parents to focus on their children which can be facilitated by working with a skilled divorce mediator.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce mediator, or one of our other skilled professionals about child custody, shared legal custody, and shared physical custody or any other family law or divorce related matter, please don’t hesitate to contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221 – 3100 or via email at Our firm offers free consultations to discuss your child custody, divorce or other family matter.



Paying for College Under Connecticut Law

Parents Can Agree or a Court Will Decide 

Under Connecticut law, parents going through a divorce have to think ahead about paying for college. Although a concern for all parents, there must be language in a divorce agreement about paying for college. This can be difficult especially if you have young children and no savings. The thought of paying for college is stressful. The divorce agreement will include a provision that clearly states each parent’s financial responsibility to pay college costs. Parents can decide on their own how to pay for college. Parents can also work with a divorce mediator who helps them reach an agreement about paying for college. If parents cannot agree, the couple will go have to go to court and let a judge decide. There are rules and restrictions on how much a court can order a parent to pay.

An overview of Connecticut General Statutes 46b-56c and Educational Support Orders

Connecticut General Statute 46b-56c contains the rules and restrictions a court must follow when deciding how much each parent must pay for college. The court then enters what is called an educational support order. An educational support order covers tuition, room and board, books, and other expenses. When deciding whether to issue an educational support order, the court will consider several factors. These factors include the cost of college, the parents’ income and financial resources. Financial aid, scholarships, and grants are also considered. Connecticut law allows for a modification of an educational support order if there is a substantial change in circumstances like a parent losing a job or becoming ill. The law also limits the amount each parent has to pay based on the current in state tuition at the University of Connecticut.

Parents’ Contributions

The court may order one or both parents to contribute to the college expenses of their child. The order might include a requirement for payment of tuition, room and board, and other necessary expenses related to the child’s education. Parents might share equally or one parent might pay more because they have a higher income or more assets. The court’s order should be reasonable based on the parents’ financial ability to pay.

Work with a Divorce Mediator

Divorce mediation is an affordable and less adversarial way to reach an agreement on paying for college. A divorce mediator will help the parents create their own agreement rather than take their chances in court with a judge. Divorce mediators offer guidance so you can understand what the laws in Connecticut say about paying for college. A mediator cannot render an opinion on either parent’s obligation but can educate the couple on existing laws.

Letting a Court Decide is a Gamble

When deciding if you and your spouse can afford to pay for college, a judge will focus more on the child’s best interests and not necessarily the best interests of the parents. Most parents want their child to go to college, but cannot always afford it. With the rising costs of tuition, paying for college can be difficult. If you’re negotiating an educational support order in a divorce, it’s recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in divorce and family law. Seeking advice from a divorce attorney is important to navigate this process properly. A divorce attorney will provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date legal advice based on your individual circumstances and the current laws in Connecticut.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a family law attorney, divorce attorney, divorce mediator, or one of our other skilled professionals, please don’t hesitate to contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221 – 3100 or via email at firm offers free consultations in person or video conference to discuss paying for college in your divorce, and all other family law and divorce law matters.



Special Needs Trust

Protecting Your Children With a Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust is a legal document that allows an individual with a disability or special needs receive financial support while protecting their eligibility for government benefits.  The trust is like a container that holds money and assets of a person with disabilities or special needs. The trust can protect this money so the individual can receive extra support while keeping their government benefits intact.

Highlights of a Special Needs Trust

  • What Is a Trust: A special savings plan for people with disabilities or special needs.
  • How Does a Trust Work:  A trusts and estate lawyer sets up the trust, puts money in it, and chooses a person to manage it called a trustee.
  • Who Benefits From A Trust: The person with a disability or special needs is called a beneficiary of the trust.
  • Why Is A Trust Important: People with disabilities who receive government benefits can protect their savings and still not lose their government help.
  • What Kinds of Trusts Are There: Trusts differ based on where the money in the trust comes from such as savings or money from a relative like a grandparent.

How a Special Needs Trust Is Used

Parents getting divorced who have a child with special needs might consider a special needs trust. The money in trust can be used to pay for things that improve the beneficiary’s life such as medical expenses, education, travel, entertainment, and more. The money cannot be given directly to the beneficiary for things like rent, because that might affect their government benefits. The essence of the trust is to ensure their loved one with disabilities continue to receive crucial assistance while still being allowed additional financial support.

How Does It Work?
  1. Trust Creator (Grantor): Someone, often a family member, sets up the trust for the benefit of a person with a disability. This person is called the grantor.
  2. Trustee: A trustee is the person chosen to manage the trust. This person could be a family member, friend, or a professional.
  3. Funds and Assets: Money, property, or other assets are put into the trust by the grantor. These assets belong to the trust and managed by the trustee.
  4. Beneficiary: The person with special needs is the beneficiary. The trust is meant to improve their quality of life by providing extra financial help.
Why Is It Important?

Government aid programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) help people with disabilities. A disabled person who has too much money or assets in their name could lose access to crucial programs. Money and assets in a special needs trust do not count against the person when they apply for government benefits. This protection allows them to get the help they need from government resources. Always seek legal advice to set up a trust properly according to the specific laws in your area.

In Conclusion

A special needs trust should be considered when you are contemplating divorce or in the process of a divorce. The special needs of children should never be overlooked in a divorce settlement. Maya Murphy, P.C. specializes in trusts and estates as well as education law, and divorce and family law. Special needs trusts must be prepared properly to protect assets and benefits for people with learning challenges and disabilities.

Written by Attorney Mediator Susan Wakefield

If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our skilled professionals about setting up a special needs trust in your divorce, please contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221 – 3100 or via email at or Our firm offers free consultations in person or video conference to discuss your trusts and estates matters, divorce, or other matters we handle here at Maya Murphy.



Marital Mediation Can Save Your Marriage

The Difference between Marital Mediation and Divorce Mediation

The difference between marital mediation and divorce mediation is fairly obvious. Divorce mediation involves working with an impartial divorce mediator and your spouse to arrive at an agreement when you decide to divorce. A couple who chooses marital mediation have decided to stay together and not divorce. A couple wants to work together to strengthen the marriage and avoid divorce. In divorce mediation, a couple looks to the mediator for help understanding the divorce process and reaching a divorce settlement. Couples interested in marital mediation are looking for a safe place to discuss problems in the marriage. Common problems are co-parenting differences, financial concerns, and sharing household responsibilities. Unlike marriage counseling, in marital mediation the focus is more on solving problems rather than rehashing the past and placing blame. Marital mediation focuses on practical solutions which are then put into a written agreement by the mediator.

Who is Marital Mediation For?

Marital mediation is for couples planning to marry, already married, and in some cases, couples contemplating divorce. Couples may have been through marriage counseling which proved unsuccessful to elicit the changes they each want to better the relationship. One or both spouses may be on the fence whether to divorce or stay together. Marital mediation is a process couples find more appealing than therapy or marriage counseling. In marital mediation the focus is on solutions and less on the emotional reasons behind their marital problems.

When the Status Quo in the Marriage No Longer Works

Many couples do not want to divorce, but the status quo no longer works. One or both spouses are just not happy. With marital mediation, the mediator helps the couple talk about what each wants and needs in the marriage. Common concerns raised during marital mediation can be parenting styles, spending habits, financial concerns, and saving for retirement. Sometimes called, relationship mediation, marital mediation with an attorney mediator is a place to problem solve. It is often not helpful to rehash the past where blame and anger becomes the focus. The mediator will guide the couple away from the negative and toward more positive solutions.

The Role of the Mediator in Marital Mediation

The mediator helps facilitate discussion and create a safe environment where a couple can be open and honest with one another about the marriage. A couple discusses their concerns and arrives at solutions and goals to better the marriage. Now it is time to put everything in writing. Having a written document shows commitment and each spouse’s investment in a healthier and happier marriage. The mediator will prepare a legal document where both spouses commit to changing behaviors and reaching common goals to improve the relationship. The couple will memorialize their goals and “asks” in writing, providing a road map when problems arise in the future.

Marital Mediation and Divorce

Despite best efforts, some couples will eventually choose to divorce. Having gone through marital mediation, their divorce may be less acrimonious. If the couple ultimately chooses to divorce, they are generally more amicable and aware of why the marriage did not work without placing blame. Marital mediation helped them frame issues, improve their communication and each spouse is better able to listen to the concerns of the other spouse. The benefits of marital mediation will make for a more positive experience when they do eventually separate and divorce.

If you have any questions or would like to meet with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys, contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or email or We offer free consultations with all of our skilled attorneys in all areas of legal practice. Marital Mediation is a new service offered by our firm. Contact us today to learn more about our legal services.

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.