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Norwalk Law Blog

How women can protect themselves financially in divorce

Women in Connecticut who divorce are more likely than men to see a drop in their income and are at greater risk of ending up in poverty. For these reasons, women should be particularly careful about their finances throughout the divorce process. Before the divorce, they should make sure they have copies of financial paperwork, such as tax returns, bank statements and other documentation about their assets.

Women may also want to consider opening an account that is just for their use. Although they will need to reveal these assets during the divorce, it can help in paying for the divorce. Some people might also want to open a post office box so that there is a place to receive mail confidentially. People who have no credit or whose credit is poor may want to try to improve it. This can be done with a credit card that is used regularly and paid off every month.

AI may improve visual monitoring for distracted driving

There are three types of distractions: manual, visual and cognitive. Drivers in Connecticut should know that they are susceptible to all three and that even simple tasks like changing the radio station can constitute a distraction. Distracted driving is unsafe and contributes to numerous accidents. In fact, such accidents kill an average of nine people and injure 100 every day in this country.

In the effort to curb distracted driving, automakers have developed visual monitoring systems for car interiors. Not only that, but many are now looking to artificial intelligence to improve the cameras and sensors that form these systems. Deep learning and advances in computer vision technology and algorithms hold much potential.

Unconscious bias a problem in courts

Members of minority groups in Connecticut who are charged with crimes may have to contend with unconscious bias in the court system. As a recent case in Boston shows, even judges may have unconscious biases that affect their decisions.

According to the American Bar Association, the judge was in charge of handling cases in which counter-protesters were arrested and charged with crimes after they protested against a far-right straight pride parade. The counter-protesters supported the LGBTQ community.

How to prepare to tell your children you're filing for divorce

Adult issues often have significant impact on children's lives. For instance, if you lose a job and find another but your income decreases, it may affect your ability to provide for your children's needs. One of the most common issues that greatly affect kids' lives is divorce. If you're planning to file a petition in a Connecticut court but haven't told your children yet, there are several things to keep in mind to help them cope when the time comes.

Remembering that children do not necessarily need a tremendous amount of detail about the events that led to your decision to divorce is a key factor in helping them come to terms with the situation and move on in life. Building a strong support network from the start is also a good idea. This network can include grandparents, teachers, counselors, faith leaders and others in your community who can provide encouragement and assistance as needed.

Reviewing parental relocation requirements

One of the more difficult aspects of divorce is acclimating to your new familial circumstances. Not having your spouse at home anymore no doubt imposes a sense of distance between them and your children (it may be likewise with you when your kids are with them). The feeling will no doubt amplify if the need to relocate arises. Clients have come to us here at Harris Harris & Schmid with all number of reasons why they wish (or need) to move away: to advance their careers, to further a new relationship or to be closer to family. Whatever your reason may be, you need to understand what the state of Connecticut requires when it comes to parental relocation.

According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch, if you wise to relocate (and your relocation would have a significant impact on your current parenting plan), it falls to you to prove the following:

  • That your relocation is for a legitimate purpose
  • That the proposed relocation is reasonable in light of that purpose
  • That the relocation would be in your kids’ best interest

Connecticut's drunk driving fatalities

Across the nation and in Connecticut, many agencies and advocacy groups have worked tirelessly to increase awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. Unfortunately, it seems that far too many people in Connecticut refuse to pay attention or heed these warnings. Instead, they make selfish and reckless choices that result in tragedy for others. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the state's drunk driving fatalities comprise a much heftier percentage of overall traffic fatalities than the national average.

In 2017, an average of 29% of all accident fatalities in the U.S. were attributed to alcohol. In Connecticut, 43% of all traffic deaths involved alcohol. That year, 120 people in Connecticut died at the hands of drunk drivers, out of a total 278 fatalities due to all factors. Looking back over the previous four years, impaired drivers claimed anywhere from 37% to 44% of all lives lost in traffic accidents. Again, this far exceeds the national averages which ranged between 29% and 31%.

What expenditures are acceptable with child support?

You are likely to feel conflicting emotions when you begin receiving child support. The relief of getting financial assistance in caring for your children can war with uncertainty over how to spend the money. You may also have questions that are not uncommon to Connecticut residents in the same situation. Can my ex tell me how to spend the money or demand receipts? Will the court monitor my child support spending?

These valid concerns deserve answers. Fortunately, as FindLaw explains, your ex-spouse will not be permitted to dictate your child support spending or to see receipts. The family law court will also not keep tabs on your spending. However, you may wish for some guidance on what is considered appropriate child support spending.

Key aspects of a Connecticut parenting plan

Going through a divorce can be difficult for anyone to endure. For parents, the process can be more difficult, especially when considering the care of their children.

For this reason, the courts require parents to put a parenting plan in place. A few key aspects can aid in creating a proper parenting plan when going through a divorce.

Understanding space heater safety this winter

When the weather turns cold and the chill of your feet on your bathroom floor does more to wake you up than your morning cup of coffee, you may see your space heater as your favorite appliance this winter. However, as we at the law office of Harris, Harris & Schmid know, space heaters can pose significant dangers for people in Connecticut and elsewhere. Does this mean you should throw away your space heater or decide not to buy one this season? Of course not – but you should understand how to properly use this appliance, as well as how to check for potential hazards.

Space heaters are a significant cause of home fires in the winter, as well as the cause of four-fifths of all deaths related to heating equipment, according to the DIY Network. Some fires and electrocutions are caused by faulty or damaged appliances. Others occur due to improper use. Therefore, you should take note of the following precautions when using your space heater:

  • Always turn the heater off and unplug it before you leave the room.
  • Never allow children and pets to be unsupervised near a running space heater.
  • Place the heater on a flat surface and at least three feet away from combustibles, such as furniture and curtains.
  • Never use an extension cord or run the electrical cord under a rug.

Reducing distracted driving among teens

Distracted driving is a frequent cause of accidents in Connecticut and across the country. Teen drivers seem to be especially prone to distraction from cell phones and other electronic devices. Public awareness materials and driver's education courses may help teens understand the risks of distracted driving. Parents may also be able to help by demonstrating safe driving practices, including not using a cell phone while behind the wheel. Connecticut has certain restrictions designed to reduce the frequency of distracted driving among teens.

According to materials from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is a frequent cause of fatal accidents. In 2017, there were 3,166 people who died in car accidents involving distracted drivers. Distracted behavior, especially texting, is very common among younger drivers. Data from the NHTSA indicates that people between the ages of 16 and 24 use handheld electronics while driving more often than drivers in older age groups.

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