Stamford Family Law Blog

Prenup myths: You can put it off

You believe in getting things done at the last minute. You joke that you work best under pressure. When it comes to planning your wedding, you take the same stance. Everything comes together very late in the game: weeks or even days before the ceremony.

You take the same approach to your prenuptial agreement. You know you want one, but it's complicated, and you wait to sign it until two days before the wedding. You show it to your future spouse, presenting it as just one more detail to complete. That's fine, right?

What does an uncontested divorce mean?

When you hear that people can have a contested or uncontested divorce, you may think that this means they're contesting whether or not to get divorced at all. For instance, one spouse may have filed for divorce while the other thinks they should stay together for the kids and try to save the marriage.

While some people do take these stances, that's not what the legal grounds for a contested or uncontested divorce really mean. Connecticut is a no-fault divorce state and your divorce is not going to get denied by the courts. In the modern era, the courts are not in the business of making people stay in marriages that they want to leave, no matter what the reason is.

Who gets the artwork you made during your marriage?

As an artist, your art is an expression of yourself. The last thing you think of it as is an asset. It's more than a piece of property, like a sofa or a car. Your artistic expression is who you are. It reflects you in a deeper way. It has meaning to you that, though you sell it and work commercially, goes far beyond money.

So, when your spouse asks for a divorce, you naturally assume that the art stays with you. After all, you created it. Nothing could possibly belong to you more. You shared your life with your spouse, but your art is yours and yours alone, right? It's not as if you purchased it together. It's something you made. It's something you created. Your emotions, insights and talents are wrapped up in it.

Using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to divide assets

In your divorce, you are only worried about dividing assets. Your kids have all grown up and left the home. Both you and your spouse work. You don't have to worry about things like child custody, child support, spousal support and many other issues that usually influence younger divorces.

What you're most concerned with, though, is retirement. It's coming on quickly, and you do not want to lose your ability to retire at the proper time because of the financial impact of the divorce.

How people look at divorce today

People in the United States do not look at divorce the same way that they did in the 1950s. Opinions have shifted. This has absolutely changed the landscape of marriage in the United States in some interesting ways.

First of all, divorce is socially acceptable to most people now in a way that it simply was not before. Since people used to feel that the decision wouldn't be accepted, they would stay together when they wanted (or needed) to part. Now, they feel more free to extract themselves from bad relationships.

Another side of stress: The odds of divorce

Everyone feels stress from time to time, some more than others. In general, we know that it's bad for us. For some, it leads to higher odds of getting sick. For others, it can contribute to heart and blood pressure issues. For still other people, it triggers anxiety.

The impacts of stress on your life are too many to name here, but let's take a look at another one that people don't talk about as often: divorce.

After divorce, do not keep secrets regarding your children

Even divorced parents must know how to communicate well with one another regarding the children. Remember that your obligations to the child remain, even when your marriage is over.

One important thing for you and your ex to agree on is that you will not keep secrets regarding the children. You will be open and honest.

How to tell if your spouse is hiding assets

Hiding assets is easiest if your spouse is fairly hands-off with the finances during the marriage. That's the first red flag that you should look for. If you do not really handle the money while you're married and then you file for divorce, your spouse may assume that you do not have an accurate picture of what your assets even look like. This can tempt them to hide some of these assets to keep them from you when you divide up what you own.

As such, your first steps should be looking into the finances, making lists of assets, writing down exactly what assets you control -- to the last cent -- and gathering as much information and documentation as possible. Do not take a hands-off approach. Know exactly what you should expect.

Can children choose where they live after divorce?

When working through a divorce with your spouse, if you have children together, one of the biggest issues you'll have is determining how you will divide custody and where the kids will live. In some cases, parents can work this out between themselves. In other cases, the court has to help them if they cannot agree.

One common divorce myth, though, is that the children get to pick where they live. This worries some parents. What if your 10-year-old decides that they want to live with your ex full-time and you rarely get to see them? Is that all it takes to cut them out of your life?

The first step toward bringing up divorce

For many people, it's not hard to understand why they want a divorce. Where they struggle is putting that desire into action. They don't want to talk to their spouses about it and they dread having the conversation.

One of the key first steps in the process, then, is asking themselves why they feel that way. Here are a few questions that may help:

  • Do you think your spouse may assume it's a joke or not take your wishes seriously?
  • Do you think that your spouse may physically harm you?
  • Do you want to avoid causing your spouse emotional harm?
  • Do you worry about the impact that this is going to have on the kids?
  • Are you concerned that you might change your mind after you say it?
  • Do you worry about simply putting the information out there, wondering what people will think when they hear?
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