Westport Divorce Lawyer
Whether you are just starting to consider divorce or you are amid divorce proceedings, having a team of carefully selected professionals to support you can make a huge difference when navigating through the process. One of the most important decisions you make in your divorce case is who to retain as your lawyer. It almost goes without saying that you should consider the personality and experience of a lawyer before deciding that he or she is “the one.” A good fit between lawyer and client can make the entire process of divorce more tolerable.
The Importance of Personalized Representation in Divorce
At Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC, our Westport divorce lawyers are experienced in the trial and settlement of a wide range of divorce cases, including high net worth cases involving complex financial and tax issues. We are committed to representing our clients in a personalized, meticulous, and proactive manner, always utilizing an approach appropriate to each case’s circumstances and tenor. We recognize that the process can be excruciating for our clients and their families. Therefore, while tenaciously advocating for our clients, we strive to maintain a sensitivity to the situation and balance the process.
Many divorces involve complex issues, including business valuations and tax analyses in the case of high net worth individuals; custody, visitation, and parenting disputes; a thorough and creative approach to alimony and child support; deviation from the Child Support Guidelines; an equitable distribution of marital property; or the proper valuation of a closely held or family-owned business.
Complexities in High Net Worth Divorce Proceedings
Depending on the issues in your case, our Westport divorce attorneys routinely partner with well-established and highly recognized experts and consultants, whenever necessary, to assist you in forensic accounting, valuing a business, financial planning, discovering assets, tax analysis, or strengthening our client’s position — whether in litigation, negotiations, or mediation. It is often best to identify the need for experts early in your case, so they can be involved with discovery as needed. You may even develop a working relationship with the expert(s) during the divorce and continue to utilize his or her services (such as accounting or financial planning) after the divorce action.
In addition to financial experts, our family law lawyers routinely work with mental health professionals. Do not be surprised if your lawyers inquire whether you have a therapist (psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker) in place. You may even be asked this as early as in the initial consultation. It is not meant to be invasive. Your lawyer should know what type of support (other than legal support) you have as you engage in the divorce process. If you do not have a therapist, your lawyer can provide you with some recommendations. Experienced Westport divorce lawyers should have a network of therapists to consider in making a tailored recommendation for a client. You may be concerned that there is a stigma attached to seeing a mental health provider before or during your divorce. While your lawyer can best advise you about the pros and cons, experienced divorce lawyers have generally found that to be untrue. Therapists can be valuable team members during a divorce.
Our Westport divorce lawyers are knowledgeable about alternative dispute resolution methods and can readily identify when divorce agreements can likely be reached through collaborative negotiations or mediation.
In all cases, we work diligently to advocate on behalf of our clients to achieve their goals in obtaining divorce agreements, court orders, and positive trial outcomes involving the following:
- Custody & Visitation / Parenting Plans: Our Westport child custody lawyers regularly appear in Court, so we see firsthand what Judges are doing, and we apply that knowledge to negotiate appropriate parenting plans for our clients. When a successful parenting plan is negotiated, the children can emerge from the process with two parents still in their lives and mitigate any trauma associated with divorce. However, we are also aggressive litigators, passionate about fighting to protect our clients’ relationships with their children. If your spouse does not agree to an appropriate parenting plan, we will help you fight to get the best results possible.
- Alimony / Spousal Support: Connecticut does not have a formula that determines the amount or length of alimony. In fact, no law even mandates alimony in the event of a divorce. Thus, the amount of alimony, the length of alimony, and whether alimony will be ordered are some of the most challenging issues in a divorce. Since alimony is an area where positions are often disparate, it is critical to seek an experienced Westport alimony lawyers’ advice to help you determine the appropriate amount of alimony, if any, in your case.
- Child Support: Child support is a recurring payment that one parent is obligated to make to the other parent to help pay for a portion of a child’s daily living expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing. Notably, child support payments are not intended to cover all expenses incident to raising a child. For example, basic child support payments are not intended to cover any portion of a child’s extracurricular activity, camp, unreimbursed medical, or work-related childcare expenses.
- Property Division: Under Connecticut law, all assets and liabilities that exist at the time of divorce are subject to equitable distribution, including assets brought to the marriage by either party. The name in which a particular asset is titled is not a determinative factor. The property will be equitably divided based on numerous statutory factors.
- Business Valuation: We understand that asset protection is often paramount to the ongoing success of a business following the dissolution of marriage. Our family law attorneys have been successful in allowing business owners to continue with business operations after a divorce, either through litigation or settlement. In other cases, when representing a business owner’s spouse, we have enabled our clients to receive a set-off of assets or a lump sum that recognizes that their spouse will be retaining the business.
What is the difference between Legal Separation and Divorce?
Often clients come into our office asking about the difference between obtaining a legal separation and obtaining a divorce. The common misconception is that a legal separation can be obtained more quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively than a divorce. The only significant difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that parties to a legal separation are not permitted to remarry. Still, the parties pursuing a legal separation must go through the same process as they would if they were pursuing a divorce, including the time and fees required to accomplish the same.
Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
A contested divorce is when a Court decides all issues related to the divorce after a trial. An uncontested divorce is when the parties agree on all issues related to the divorce and submit a written agreement to the Court for approval.
At Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC we are proud of our team approach to resolving divorce issues. We frequently staff cases with more than one attorney from our firm to provide seamless litigation and/or settlement support to our clients. We are experienced in building support teams for our clients, including mental health providers and/or relevant experts and consultants.