Men and women face unique challenges throughout the process of getting a divorce. As a man involved in a divorce case, find a lawyer who understands the challenges that you face.

Choosing a Lawyer

As a rule of thumb, it is important for you to look for a lawyer with a good reputation. Also find someone with a lot of experience and training. In addition, find someone who has a degree from a reputable college. The best lawyers will be ones who fulfill all of these requirements. You should also make sure that you have a good personal relationship with the person that will be representing you. Make sure that you feel comfortable with and confident in your divorce lawyer. This peace of mind is important to have while going through such a stressful life event.

Steps to Take

As a man, you should begin preparing for your divorce once you realize that your marriage is over. Establish individual credit cards. Do this because all those that you had jointly with your wife will no longer be available to you. You will need a Connecticut lawyer who can help you understand how your assets will be divided and one who will be proactive in helping you keep the property that you want.

It will be important that you show that you are a stable and responsible person, and that you are a good parent so that you can fight for either custody of or visitation rights to your child. This is especially important if you or your soon-to-be ex want to relocate outside of Connecticut. Child custody, support, and visitation are one of the biggest challenges that men in Connecticut will face during a divorce. You and your lawyer should establish that you can be a stable father and that your children need you in their lives.

Your lawyer should also fight to help you get reasonable child support payments. If you are fighting for custody of your children, your lawyer should be aware of this as soon as possible so that he can inform you of your odds and begin to build a case. Every man will feel differently concerning what he wants in terms of child custody, support, and visitation, so you should explore your feelings about these things and inform your lawyer of what you want.

10 Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer For Men

Are you the male party in the divorce process? Divorce is very different for each spouse in the relationship. For men, you might have been the primary financial provider in your relationship. Now that a separation or divorce is eminent, you might be worried about your financials and how they will be affected. Kids also play into the fact of divorce. Will you want joint-custody or full-custody of the children? Where will you live once the divorce is final? Did you want to stay in your marital home or give that to your soon-to-be ex spouse? There are so many questions that go along with divorce and it may all seem overwhelming, but there is always a person there to help – a divorce lawyer.

Lawyers can help with all of the legal aspects of the divorce process from financials, custody, and property, all the way to assets, and liabilities. Below are 10 questions to ask any potential divorce lawyer if you are the male in the divorce:

Questions to Ask

  • Do you mostly specialize in divorce and family law? If so, can you give me a percentage of how much your practice is devoted to those fields? To make sure that the lawyer has experience with divorce and family law, you should see how often he or she practices these types of law.
  • What sorts of family law and divorce cases have you handled in the past? This will also help you understand a lawyer’s knowledge and experience in divorce law.
  • How many men have you successfully represented in the past? Make sure that the lawyer has experience defending men in divorce cases.
  • How much success have you seen in both mediation and in the courtroom? If mediation is an option for you, you should learn about this lawyer’s experience with it.
  • How many years have you practiced law for? This will help you understand how many cases the lawyer has handled and what his or her experience is like.
  • What is your retainer? Make sure that you understand the financial obligations that you will have if you hire this lawyer.
  • What is your hourly rate and how do you bill your hours? Again, make sure that there are no hidden fees.
  • In your opinion, how will my financials be affected in this divorce? If you are worried about how divorce will change your finances, ask a lawyer for his or her professional opinion.
  • How long do you think it will take for my case to be resolved? Divorce can take months or even years. Understand what you are investing in before you begin the process.
  • How familiar are you with this area’s court system and judges? Each judge and courthouse is different. The more familiar your lawyer is with your jurisdiction, the better.

Paternity Testing

There are many different motives for getting a paternity test once a couple files for divorce. This can be done by the father, who either wants proof that he has the right to visit his children or that he has the right to fight for custody. In contrast, oftentimes a woman will ask for a paternity test to try and keep her spouse away from her children and force him to give up custody or visitation rights. On the other hand, a father can request a paternity test if he has doubts about his wife’s fidelity and wishes to put those doubts to rest before paying child support for the rest of his life. These are all valid reasons for wanting to get a paternity test, and the outcomes do affect divorce and child support.

Case Law

In Connecticut, a “child born in wedlock is presumed to be a legitimate child of the mother and her husband.” Weidenbacher v. Duclos, 234 Conn. 51, 68-69, 661 A.2d 988 (1995). Unless proved otherwise by a paternity test, the husband will have to pay child support. However, if a man has doubts about whether the children he has raised are his own, he can have a paternity test for real proof. Whether these fears are justified or whether they are derived from a desire to lessen their financial burden, when filing for a divorce, many fathers also file for a paternity test, and the results of the test will determine his involvement in his children’s lives.

On the other hand, “once alleged parental rights of the father have been adjudicated in his favor under subsection (b) of this section, or acknowledged as provided for under section 46b-172, his rights and responsibilities shall be equivalent to those of the mother, including those rights defined under section 45a-606.” CONN. GEN. STAT. § 46b-172a(g) (2005).

As a result, the father has the right to custody and visitations, however, he also must provide financial aid for his child/children. Divorce results from feelings of betrayal and irreconcilable differences. Both of these things may result in the desire for a paternity test. In Connecticut, if a woman’s husband is not found to be the father of her children through a paternity test, he does not have to have any more involvement in the children’s lives. However, a paternity test is the only thing that can decide this. If a man simply suspects that his wife cheated on him, this is not enough for him to cease financial involvement in the children’s lives, and he will still be responsible for them financially.