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Connecticut And Rhode Island Personal Injury And Family Law Blog

Divorcing state senator reveals relationship with former aide

The divorce of a Connecticut state senator has garnered increased media attention in recent weeks as she went public with her relationship with a former staffer. State Sen. Alex Bergstein is in the midst of a divorce from her husband Seth, who is a Morgan Stanley executive.

Sen. Bergstein, who represents Greenwich, announced the relationship on Facebook last month. She said that it was not the reason she filed for divorce last December. According to Bergstein, "Long after my marriage had ended emotionally and physically, I made the decision to end it legally. Once I was free and empowered, I was able to see other paths to happiness."

Do you have a co-parenting family emergency plan?

Connecticut parents never know when the unexpected will happen and they'll need to get to their children immediately -- whether it's a blizzard, a tornado or a school shooting. Sadly, none of these things is outside the realm of possibility.

It's always wise to have a family emergency plan in place to help ensure that everyone can find each other and get to safety. However, when parents divorce, the old emergency plan you once had in place may no longer work.

Are there different types of distracted driving?

If you see any safety ads trying to stop distracted driving, they probably focus on texting and driving. That's because it's one of the most common and most dangerous types of distraction.

Of course, the reality is that there are nearly endless distractions on the road. Passengers in the car can be a distraction. So can changing the radio station. So can reading a billboard. So can simply letting your mind wander and thinking about anything: disagreements with friends, stress at work, fun plans for the weekend, etc.

What do you think about while riding your motorcycle?

If you have a motorcycle, you probably enjoy getting out on the road and opening up your throttle. And if you’ve been riding for some time, you likely trust your ability to handle your bike safely in a variety of situations.

You might be excited to think about the recently-introduced lane splitting bill. If passed into law, Senate Bill 629 would make Connecticut the second state in the country to allow operating your motorcycle between lanes of traffic. But regardless of whether the bill passes, you might consider if doing so would be safe.

The effect of a criminal record on your child custody case

If you're a divorcing parent with a criminal record, you may assume that this record will prevent you from being granted any child custody rights -- particularly if your spouse doesn't want to share custody. Judges who are called on to decide custody cases focus on what's in the child's best interests. Your criminal history may or may not impact your ability to parent your children in a safe, healthy, positive way.

If your convictions are related to drugs and/or alcohol, such as possession charges or DUIs, a judge will look at whether you have a substance abuse issue and whether the kids are safe when they're with you. They might be concerned about what kind of people you're spending time with and whether the kids are exposed to dangerous substances when they're around you.

Can you get sole custody of your children when you divorce?

There are many things that can lead to a painful divorce. You and your spouse could be parting ways because of infidelity, mistreatment or your inability to agree on how to raise your children. In some cases, divorcing couples can reach agreements about how to proceed with everything they need to decide as they dissolve their marriage. However, many situations remain extremely difficult to navigate.

No matter how strained the relationship between you and your spouse may be, you probably know they love and want the best for your children. However, you may still feel as though you should fight for sole custody. But if the two of you cannot agree on how to arrange a custody and visitation schedule, a court will likely intervene based on what they believe is in the best interest of the children. But do you know what they take into consideration?

State legislators seek to strengthen sexual assault laws

Survivors of sexual assault and their allies are pushing for changes to Connecticut law that would remove or lengthen the statutes of limitations for reporting and taking legal action on a broad range of sex crimes. Connecticut currently has among the strictest statutes of limitations in the country.

Among the changes in the proposed legislation is the elimination of a statute of limitations on felonies including forced rape and rape that involves drug or false medical pretense. Currently, these offenses have a five-year statute of limitations. Other proposals would increase the statute of limitations on forced sexual conduct from five to 25 years and for misdemeanor sex crimes like unwanted sexual contact from one year to five.

Do your tweens have to use booster seats?

When you and your kids get into your vehicle, you are probably in a hurry. And although it might be easier and faster to transition from the house to the car now that your kids are almost teenagers, you still need to make sure they are buckled in correctly.

While your tweens may resist buckling up, you probably do not move your vehicle until you know their safety belts are on. However, there are certain things you would be wise to consider before allowing your kids to use adult seat belts. But do you know the safest way to transition your kids out of booster seats?

How would you know if your spouse is hiding assets?

As you begin your divorce proceedings, you may come to the table with a wide range of emotions and concerns. And while you consider how you will divide your property, your gut might tell you that there is more at stake.

You are probably well aware of many of your marital assets. However, that is not to say you have been informed about all of them. If you feel your spouse has been hiding assets from you, there are some things you can do to help find potential assets your spouse may be hiding.

How to avoid being a victim of dissipation of assets

As you're going through a divorce, you and your spouse likely still have accounts that belong to both of you. That means that either one of you can withdraw as much as you choose. If your estranged spouse is angry, vindictive, hurt or simply wants to walk away with as many of the marital assets as possible, they may empty out those accounts on frivolous, unnecessary purchases.

That's called "dissipation of assets." It often involves intentionally squandering money or other assets so that the other spouse doesn't get a fair chance to divide those assets in the divorce. A spouse may buy an expensive car or boat, take a pricey vacation, buy their new significant other expensive gifts or simply hide the funds somewhere they can't easily be found.

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