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3 Steps for Helping Your Kids Through Divorce

Aug. 19th 2014

Happy father and son

Divorcing a spouse represents an abrupt change in your lifestyle and daily routines. During this transition in your life, it is important to remember that this experience is equally difficult for your child to go through. As a divorce attorney, my clients frequently come to me for advice on how they can help their children through divorce. Due to these inquiries, I have created this post with some helpful tips.

  1. Be Sensitive, Understanding, and Patient

For your child, the notion that his or her parents are going through or have gotten a divorce is both sad and scary.  You’re not the only one going through a difficult time. A child’s life changes drastically when his or her parents divorce. Your child might express anger – even at you – and may lash out at other children in school. Instead of punishing your child, be rational with him or her. Explain to him or her that you understand their frustration because you are experiencing it as well. But make sure they also understand that they shouldn’t lash out at others because of it.

Above all, you must be patient with your child after going through a divorce. Just as you and your ex-spouse will take time to heal and move on from a divorce, your child also needs time to do so. Don’t jump to conclusions that something is wrong with your child simply because he or she suddenly seems angry or depressed. It is totally normal for a child to be angry or depressed after their parents go through a divorce. However, if the problem persists, you may want to have him or her talk to a therapist. Your child just might need to vent to someone other than you or your ex-spouse.

  1. Don’t Blame Them and Don’t Point Fingers

Far too often, a child will think that he or she was the cause of, or at least contributed to, his or her parent’s divorce. Be sure to make it clear to your child that he or she is not to blame for your divorce in any way – that this was a decision you and your ex-spouse came to for reasons unrelated to them.

It is also critical for you not to lay the blame on your ex-spouse for your divorce. In fact, you shouldn’t be saying any bad things about your ex-spouse in front of your children at all. It is important that your child doesn’t feel like he or she needs to pick sides, no matter how rough of a divorce it was. In the long run, you will want your child to love, respect and have a healthy relationship with your ex-spouse.

  1. Be Honest and Open

Be honest and upfront with your child about the divorce. His or her life is going to change drastically, and you owe it to your child to explain everything to them. Further, don’t give them any sense of false hope that you and your ex-spouse may eventually get back together. As a parent, making promises you can’t keep is never a good thing, especially in the context of divorce.

Make sure to let your child know that you are there for them – to answer any questions they may have, or just to listen to their concerns and feelings about the divorce. It is important to provide your child with an open, judgment-free environment during this difficult time.

For more information on how to help your child through a divorce, or for help through your divorce process, you can contact me here.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Post Divorce | Comments Off on 3 Steps for Helping Your Kids Through Divorce

How to Get a Job After Divorce

Aug. 12th 2014

Returning to the Work Force

After getting a divorce, you may find that you need to go back to work or take on a second job to support yourself. Returning to the work force after years, or even decades, of absence can be intimidating. Take a deep breath and be confident in your abilities.

If you decide to go back to work, don’t just look for jobs that you’ve had past experience in. Due to the difficult job market, it is harmful to limit your job search in this way. Also, be sure to spread the word to family, friends, former employers and former co-workers that you are on the hunt for a job. Networking is often the most efficient way to find a job.


Essential to your job search will be your resume. Make sure that you update your resume or create a new one if yours is outdated. Your resume should include any experience you have had that you think potential employers would want to know about. If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for years, any volunteer work or fundraising you may have done is still relevant and should be included in your resume. Make sure that your resume is polished and professional. Have a second set of eyes look over your resume for any spelling or grammatical errors.

Going Back to School

As a result of your divorce, you may even consider the possibility of going back to school. With so many Americans looking for jobs, the proper level of education is critical to set you apart from other applicants.

Chances are you have at least graduated from high school. If you haven’t, it is essential to get your GED. A GED – which stands for General Education Development examination – is the equivalent of a high school diploma for adults. Without a high school diploma or GED, it is not likely that you will find any stable kind of work.

Aside from having a high school degree or the GED equivalent, a Bachelor’s Degree is also crucial to finding a job in today’s market. If you have just gone through a divorce and are planning on re-entering the work force, you need to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree if you don’t already have one. Luckily, there are many flexible programs available today to earn your Bachelor’s Degree. You can enroll as a part-time or full-time student, and many universities offer online and night class options. Community colleges are less expensive alternatives and many offer four-year programs to earn your degree.

If you already have a Bachelor’s Degree, going back to school for a Master’s Degree can increase your earning potential and open up many new career opportunities for you. You should consider obtaining a Master’s Degree, if possible.

These are all ways to make yourself more marketable if you feel that you need to get a job after your divorce. If you are concerned about paying your bills or paying for school before you have a job, consider asking a judge to grant rehabilitative alimony. This can help you get back on your feet after a divorce. For more information about rehabilitative alimony or other ways to get a job after divorce, you can contact me here.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Post Divorce | Comments Off on How to Get a Job After Divorce

Top 4 Strategies for Moving on After Divorce

Aug. 4th 2014


There’s no doubt about it – divorce is hard. It’s hard whether it was your spouse who wanted the divorce or if it was you who wanted it. And it’s hard whether or not you feel like you’re better off after getting a divorce. As divorce rates in the United State are on the rise, everyone seems to have their own theory about how to move on after divorce. This post explores strategies for moving on after divorce.

  1. Allow Yourself Time to Mourn

Divorce represents a loss. As such, you aren’t expected to heal from it overnight. Everyone grieves at his or her own pace, and it is important to allow yourself ample time to mourn your divorce. Most likely, there are still aspects of your previous marriage that frustrate, sadden or even confuse you. It is always a great idea to talk out these kinds of feelings, especially in the context of divorce. Reach out to family and friends who will listen to you. If you don’t have family or friends willing to help, or if talking to them isn’t sufficient, contact a therapist. Talking to a therapist doesn’t mean you have a problem nor does it show any signs of weakness. It simply means that you seek to mourn your recent divorce in a healthy, judgment-free environment. Above all, remember that if you don’t mourn the loss of your marriage the pent-up feelings you have will never really go away.

  1. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

It’s easy to blame yourself for your marriage not working out. But, refrain from doing so. Your marriage is over and pointing fingers – especially at yourself – won’t do any good. You’re human and humans make mistakes. For example, if you cheated during your marriage don’t continue to beat yourself up over it. You did what you did for a reason. Look at it now as an opportunity to discover what was missing from your relationship that led you to stray. Work on building your confidence back up. Believe in yourself and your ability to work past this rough patch in your life.

3. Discover and Rediscover

You’ve probably heard that, after going through a divorce, it is important to discover something new that you enjoy doing – whether it be picking up a new hobby, visiting a new place, etc. But, equally as important is rediscovery. This concept refers to rediscovering things you might have given up due to marriage. It could be as simple as this: although you always enjoyed going to the beach, you stopped once you got married because your husband didn’t like the beach. Start doing the things you used to enjoy once again. Embrace your newly found independence. Discover and rediscover what it is that makes you truly happy.

4. Don’t Fear Being on Your Own

Oftentimes, when a couple gets divorced, each person finds himself or herself having to handle tasks that they never had to before. For example, maybe during your marriage it wasn’t your responsibility to make sure the bills were paid on time or maybe it wasn’t your responsibility to do the cooking. Now that you are no longer married though, you will have to learn to do all household tasks and responsibilities.

It’s also important to keep in mind that being “on your own” isn’t the same as being “alone.” Although you’re no longer married, you likely still have children, family members or friends there to support you. Don’t be hesitant to ask them for help or advice if you need it. There are also many support groups out there for people that are going through, or have recently gone through, a divorce. Make sure to still go out and do things, and see the people you enjoy being around.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Post Divorce | Comments Off on Top 4 Strategies for Moving on After Divorce

Parental Law and Kidnapping

Sep. 9th 2013


Sometimes, divorce is resolved amicably and with ease. However, in many cases, divorce is a difficult and lengthy process. Especially if there is a custody battle involved in the divorce, tension can arise between the soon-to-be ex spouses. In some cases, coming to an agreement that is suitable for both parties seems impossible. If this happens, one spouse may feel that he or she has few plausible options for keeping custody of his or her children. As a result, drastic measures can be taken. While you might think that your spouse would never take your children without your consent, this does occur during Connecticut divorce. Luckily, Connecticut law protects parents from the removal of their children from the state without the consent of both parents. There are 2 laws in Connecticut that address this type of kidnapping during or after a divorce. There is also a federal law that prohibits the removal of children from the United States (18 USC §1204(a)).

One law that prohibits parents from taking children without the consent of the other parent is found in Connecticut’s general statute under section 53A-98. This law refers to custodial interference in the second degree and defines this crime as follows: “Class A misdemeanor: (a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree when: (1) Being a relative of a child who is less than sixteen years old and intending to hold such child permanently or for a protracted period and knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices such child from his lawful custodian; (2) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices from lawful custody any incompetent person or any person entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or institution; or (3) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he holds, keeps or otherwise refuses to return a child who is less than sixteen years old to such child’s lawful custodian after a request by such custodian for the return of such child. (b) Custodial interference in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.” CONN. GEN. STAT. § 53A-98 (2011).

Another form of kidnapping by a parent is considered custodial interference in the first degree, which is a class D felony. This statute reads, “(a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree when he commits custodial interference in the second degree as provided in section 53a-98: (1) Under circumstances which expose the child or person taken or enticed from lawful custody or the child held after a request by the lawful custodian for his return to a risk that his safety will be endangered or his health materially impaired; or (2) by taking, enticing or detaining the child or person out of this state.” CONN. GEN. STAT. § 53a-97 (2011).

If your ex spouse has taken your children out of Connecticut without your consent, please contact the police. Once this is done, contact a Connecticut divorce attorney to help get court orders returning the children to you that the court in another state will enforce. Try not to panic, and remember that we can help you get your child home safely.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Post Divorce | Comments Off on Parental Law and Kidnapping

Third Party Visitation Rights

Aug. 26th 2013


In the event of a divorce, the state of Connecticut has a visitation statute for all third parties, including grandparents. This statute allows for godparents, guardians, grandparents, and other people who acted as parental figures to children who were not their biological children to have visitation rights in the event of a divorce. In order to take advantage of this visitation statute, the court must approve the visitation. The court will make a decision based on what is in the child’s best interest. If the child is old enough to form an intelligent opinion on the matter, the child may express his or her wishes, which will be taken into consideration by the court (CGS § 46b-59).

Additional requirements were added to the visitation statute for third parties as a result of the Troxel v, Granville case. In Roth v. Roth, 259 Conn. 202 (2002), the court acknowledged that the statute contains a rebuttable which states that visitation opposed by a fit parent is not in a child’s best interest. In order for the court to have jurisdiction over a petition, the following requirements were established:

1. The petition must contain specific good faith allegations that the petitioner has a relationship with the child similar in nature to a parent-child relationship and;

2. The petition must also contain specific good faith allegations that denial of the visitation will cause real and significant harm to the child, that requires more than a determination that visitation would be in the child’s best interest.

However, keep in mind that just because these requirements are met does not mean that visitation will immediately be granted. Once these requirements are met, the petitioner has to prove the allegations by clear and convincing evidence before a judge. The court found that these requirements “serve as the constitutionally mandated safeguards against unwarranted intrusions into a parent’s authority. ”  If the custodial parent objects to you receiving visitation rights, you can still get these visitation rights, but it will be harder to do so. You would have to present detailed, solid evidence to the court in order to show that it is in the child’s best interest for you to have visitation rights.

Grandparents and other third parties are oftentimes invested in the lives of children they have come to know and love. A divorce can threaten a special relationship between a grandparent and his or her grandchildren, or a child and a person who acted as a parental figure. If you want visitation rights because you fear that you won’t be able to see the child as a result of a divorce, you will have to present a strong case in court. In order to gather evidence and increase your chances of having a petition for visitation rights accepted by the court, you should consider hiring an attorney to help you through the process. If you are interested in a free consultation, contact me here.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Post Divorce | Comments Off on Third Party Visitation Rights

Relocating after Divorce

Aug. 21st 2013

Divorce can complicate some aspects of your life. Sharing child custody with your ex-spouse will require patience, mutual understanding, and respect. As a result, you still have to consider your ex-spouse when making important life decisions that could impact both of you and your ability to see your children. Despite the divorce, you should consider how relocating out of the state will affect your ex-spouse’s relationship with your children. Such a move can affect the other parent’s visitation schedule.

If you want to relocate to another state with your children, you might encounter some difficulty. This is because in many divorce situations, both parents share joint legal custody of the minor children, meaning they both have the right to make decisions that affect the children’s lives. If your ex-spouse has partial custody of your children and lives in the same state as you, he or she has probably grown accustomed to seeing the children on a frequent and regular basis.

Happy father and son

In a case where both parents share custody of the children, you will have to prove to the court why it would be in your children’s best interest to move them out of the state and away from their other parent. If you want to relocate, you should be open about this with your ex. He or she has a right to know that you are planning on drastically changing the routine that you both have come to expect. In many cases, the other spouse might object to the move. Typically, if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement about relocating and changing the visitation schedule that was agreed upon during the divorce, you will have to attend a hearing in court explaining why you want to move with the children. The relocating parent must prove how the move will somehow benefit the children. One valid reason to relocate the children that courts usually accept is better schooling in a different district. Similarly, if you want to move for a job that will give you a greater financial gain the court will generally accept this as a reason to move. Other reasons can be presented to a judge, and if a judge feels that the benefits of the relocation outweigh staying where you currently live, you will be able to relocate with your children.

The key to relocating with children once a divorce has been finalized is receiving the court’s approval. In most cases, the court doesn’t want to separate a parent from his or her children or make it more difficult for one parent to see the children. Take this into consideration before your court hearing concerning relocation. You will have to present and support valid reasons as to how moving will benefit your children. In order to do this, consider hiring a divorce attorney. By hiring someone who is experienced with cases that are similar to your own, you can be sure to present the strongest case in court. If you are serious about relocating and want to discuss your chances of having relocation granted by a court, contact my firm today.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Post Divorce | Comments Off on Relocating after Divorce