Grounds for Divorce in Connecticut

February 27th, 2015 at 10:04 am

divorce grounds, Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawer,Connecticut is a mixed state regarding divorce, meaning that the law provides for both fault-based grounds for divorce and for grounds where neither spouse assigns fault to the other. In addition to naming grounds for the divorce, Connecticut law also includes residency requirements. Either:

  • One spouse has been a Connecticut resident for 12 months prior to the final judgment;
  • One spouse lived in Connecticut during the marriage and, before filing the complaint, returned with the intent to stay; or
  • The cause for the divorce arose after either party moved to Connecticut.

If the residency requirements are satisfied, one spouse must file a Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage, which outlines to the court what the spouse would like the court to do, e.g. dissolve the marriage, distribute property, and make a child support determination. The complaint must also include the grounds for divorce.

No-Fault Grounds

No-fault divorce is the most common type of divorce in Connecticut. No-fault means that neither spouse has to prove wrongdoing by the other spouse in order to end the marriage. There are two grounds for no-fault divorce in Connecticut:

  • Irretrievable breakdown: the marriage has broken down such that there is no realistic chance that the spouses will resolve their differences; and
  • Intentional separation: the spouses have lived apart for at least 18 continuous months because of incompatibility, and there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation.

 Fault Grounds

 Fault divorce, in contrast, is caused by one spouse’s misbehavior or wrongdoing. Though fault grounds are not required by Connecticut law, using fault as a grounds for divorce may give one spouse an advantage in areas such as child custody, alimony, or property settlements. The grounds for fault divorce in Connecticut are:

  • Adultery: engaging in sexual acts with someone other than a spouse;
  • Fraudulent contract: a pre-marital deception regarding some factor that affects the essence of the marriage (such as lying about a criminal history, or lying about being pregnant by another man);
  • Willful desertion: one spouse intentionally leaves the other for at least one year;
  • Absence: one spouse is absent for seven years, with no communication from the absent spouse;
  • Habitual intemperance: a long-lasting lack of self-control, such as alcohol abuse, that affects the spouse’s ability to perform the duties of marriage;
  • Intolerable cruelty: cruel acts by one spouse that are so serious that continuing the relationship is impracticable;
  • Imprisonment: either imprisonment for life or commission of a sex crime, such as rape or sexual assault, that leads to imprisonment for at least one year; or
  • Mental illness: confinement in a mental institution for at least five of the past six years.

For those who are considering a divorce, it can be confusing and difficult to determine which grounds are most appropriate to your situation and which grounds will make the divorce process as quick and painless as possible. If you are considering a divorce, please contact a skilled Stamford family law attorney at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP for a free initial consultation.

Property Division In Connecticut Divorce

February 20th, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Connecticut family law attorney, Connecticut family law attorney, divorce negotiations,Property division is one of the most important and often one of the most contentious issues for divorcing couples. In Connecticut, if a couple can agree to a just and reasonable division of property, judges will generally accept the division they come up with. However, if the divorcing spouses cannot come to an agreement, the court will determine a property division based on the principle of equitable distribution. “Equitable” does not necessarily mean equal, however, but instead means a fair distribution.

How Is the Property Divided?

Judges use several factors set forth in Connecticut’s equitable distribution statute to determine how they will divide a divorcing couple’s marital property. These factors are:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The causes for the end of the marriage;
  • The age and health of the spouses;
  • The station, occupation, income levels, job skills, and employability of the spouses;
  • Each spouse’s assets;
  • Each spouse’s debts;
  • Each spouse’s needs;
  • Each spouse’s opportunities for generating future capital assets and income; and
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of value of their assets. Courts consider homemaking to be a valuable contribution.

 What Property Can Be Divided?

Connecticut is a pure equitable distribution state, which means that, in divorce, judges can divide all property and debts belonging to either spouse. This is much broader than in many other states, where there are distinctions between marital property and separate property. Connecticut’s distribution statute states that the court may “assign to either the husband or the wife all or any part of the estate of the other.” The property subject to distribution is thus not limited to only that property that was acquired during the marriage or that is owned by both spouses jointly, as in many other states. However, the divisible property is limited to property that is in existence at the time of the divorce, and does not include the expectation of future income.

The most effective way to ensure that pre-marital assets will remain as separate property, not subject to division in the event of a divorce, is to have an enforceable signed prenuptial or postnuptial agreement between the spouses. In such an agreement, the spouses can specify that certain assets will retain their separate status after marriage. It is also possible that a family law court will consider property to be separate property under other circumstances, especially if the spouses have not commingled the property.

Divorces are among the most stressful times of a person’s life. The services of an experienced family law attorney are very important at this time, both to ensure that your interests are justly represented and to relieve some of the stress associated with divorce. An experienced attorney acts as your advocate in many ways, including ensuring that your property is fairly distributed. If you are considering or are undergoing a divorce, please contact a dedicated Stamford family law attorney at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP for a free initial consultation.

The Hague Convention and International Kidnapping

February 13th, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Connecticut family law attorney, Connecticut divorce attorney, international child custody,For separated or divorced parents, the issue of traveling with a child can sometimes become contentious. One parent may even try to interfere with the other parent’s custodial or visitation rights by taking or kidnapping the child from that parent. This issue becomes even more serious when it comes to international kidnapping. Fortunately, over 80 countries, including the U.S., are party to a treaty called the Hague Convention, which provides for the return of children who have been abducted across international lines.

What does the Hague Convention Do?

The Hague Convention sets forth standards for returning children under the age of 16 to their country of habitual residence. Under the Convention, a parent can petition for the return of an abducted child from one Hague Convention country to another. To enforce the petition, parents can file lawsuits in the country to which the child has been abducted. In the U.S., a parent would file suit either with a local state court or with the local U.S. District Court.

It is important to note that the Convention does not provide rules for child custody determinations, and does not deal with determining the child’s best interests. Rather, the Convention applies in cases where custody determinations have already been made. The goal of the Convention is to preserve the original custody arrangement—to return the child and the custody decisions to the original country. Its purpose is to deter parents from forum shopping by crossing international borders in order to find a court more sympathetic to their preferences. Another important detail is that if a petition succeeds, the child is returned to his or her original country, and not necessarily to the left-behind parent.

What Constitutes Abduction?

To constitute child abduction under the Hague Convention, a left-behind parent must prove the following:

  • The child’s habitual residence. A parent must show that the child’s habitual residence was in the country to which the parent seeks the child’s return. “Habitual residence” is not defined in the convention, but it refers generally to the child’s ordinary residence. Courts will look at the shared intentions of the parents, the history of the child’s residence, and where the family was settled.
  • That the removal was wrongful. This means that the left-behind parent must have custody rights over the child. This requirement is generally satisfied by showing a court order granting custody. If a custody case is still in the court and has not yet been finalized, the Convention deems the court to have custody rights, and so traveling outside the court’s jurisdiction constitutes abduction.
  • The parent was exercising custody rights. The Convention requires that at the time of the abduction, the left-behind parent actually spent time with the child under the custody arrangement. Thus, if a parent had no contact with a child, this requirement would not be satisfied.

The anguish and stress caused by a child’s abduction are only compounded by the confusion of dealing with the complexities of international law. If you are confronting issues of international parental rights, please contact an experienced Stamford family law attorney at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP for a free initial consultation.

Supreme Court to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

February 6th, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, civil unions,In 2013, the Supreme Court (SC) struck down relevant portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the case United States v. Windsor. By striking down the portions of DOMA that defined marriage as only being an act between a male and a female, the SC’s decision required the U.S. federal government to provide recognition to all same-sex marriages approved in state’s allowing such marriages. Since then, many on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate have waited patiently for the SC to hear another same-sex marriage case in order to finally clarify whether each individual state is required to issue same-sex marriage licenses. At the beginning of 2015, the SC finally announced that it would be hearing four separate petitions from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee that all focus on the states’ rights regarding issues associated with same-sex marriage.

The Same Sex Marriage Petitions Before the Supreme Court

This year, the SC has agreed to hear four different petitions that present four different but related questions regarding states’ rights in the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. In order to consolidate their review, the four petitions were divided into two distinct cases, and two separate arguments have been scheduled to be presented before the SC. The first argument will be for 90-minutes and revolve around the constitutional right to enter into a same-sex marriage. The second argument will be a one-hour presentation regarding a person’s right to have an out-of-state marriage recognized in another state that does not allow for such marriages.

In addition to consolidating the four petitions into two separate cases, the SC justices also took the liberty to reframe the two questions of constitutional law that would be reviewed in the hearings. Though not typically exercised, the justices have the right to alter the language of the questions of law presented before their court. The two questions that the SC will be officially reviewing are:

  • Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?; and
  • Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

The decision to alter the questions has been met with some scrutiny by legal scholars and activists alike. While some wonder whether the altering of the constitutional questions was in order to stack the deck against the gay-marriage movement, others see the decision as simply good housekeeping. The second position seems more feasible given that the four petitions all featured different constitutional questions, which though similar, would seem to necessitate some altering in order to harmonize both into one tangible constitutional issue capable of review.

Though same-sex marriage is both allowed and recognized in Connecticut, families face difficulties when they leave the state for other locations that do not allow same-sex marriage. Hopefully, the SC’s decision in the two upcoming cases will help clarify the legal and constitutional issues facing same-sex families in the U.S. If you need legal representation or advice regarding any family law related legal issue, contact the experienced Stamford family law attorneys at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP today.

The Arbitration and Mediation Options Available for Family Law Issues

January 29th, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Connecticut family law procedures, Connecticut divorce lawyer, Connecticut family law attorney,Long and protracted legal disputes regarding family law issues can be extremely difficult, stressful and time consuming. Whether you and your loved ones are determining custody arrangements, elder care options, divorce or any other family law-related issues, it may not always be necessary to work out such issues through the Connecticut court system. In fact, the options of arbitration and mediation can both be used to allow families to come to lasting and mutually beneficial arrangements regarding a wide range of family law issues. Both arbitration and mediation processes offer alternatives to protracted litigation. In both contexts a person with or without the assistance of legal counsel will have the opportunity to negotiate decisions regarding financial, custodial, and other issues.

The Mediation Options

Mediation provides an effective option for resolving parenting disputes outside of the courtroom. In fact, while parties cannot choose a specific trial judge to hear their family law disputes, parties can choose a specific mediator in order to ensure that their issues are heard by a patient and sensitive party, trained to handle unique family law issues. The mediator chosen by the parties must act with neutrality in order to facilitate the necessary compromises required from both parties so as to produce a mutually beneficial outcome. Mediators acting as neutral parties in a non-adversarial system can serve to lessen some of the conflict and tension that the family is experiencing with one another. Mediators don’t just mitigate disputes; they are also experienced and trained to provide specific guidance regarding child custody and what types of arrangements will be in the best interests of the child.

Mediation has been proven effective at providing a less expensive and more efficient and satisfying method for resolving parenting, support, and custody disputes. In fact, research has indicated that mediation agreements are more likely to bring about desired outcomes for both parties, and that such parties in turn are more likely to adhere to the agreed upon terms than those who come to agreement via the court system. Mediation provides a less formal situation for agreement dispute resolution so that all parties feel comfortable with voicing their grievances and concerns. Furthermore, mediation is less expensive than traditional court proceedings, and mediation meetings can be scheduled around the work schedules and other needs of the involved parties.

The Arbitration Option

When mediation is not a viable option, arbitration can be used to resolve financial disputes in family law issues. When both parties stand firm in their positions regarding financial issues, arbitration provides a sufficient and less expensive alternative to traditional court  proceedings. Traditionally, arbitration has been used so that there is a private trial outside of the public eye. Though arbitration is typically motivated by the desire for privacy, arbitration is often used to resolve family law financial disputes. Arbitration is unique in that the outcome of the proceedings is kept private and disclosure to non-public parties is typically prohibited. Other benefits of using arbitration to resolve family law disputes is that arbitration is less expensive and the parties are free to both control and design a legally binding process and agreement that is responsive to each party’s unique needs.

Both arbitration and mediation provide less expensive alternatives to traditional family law court legal proceedings. If you need assistance of counsel in an arbitration or mediation, contact one of the experienced Stamford family law attorneys at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP today.

Concerns about Stamford School District’s Handling of Child Abuse Cases

January 22nd, 2015 at 8:18 pm

child abuse reporters, Connecticut divorce lawyer, Connecticut family law attorney,In 2010, Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate and the Attorney General released the “Protecting Our Children” study to document the failures of Connecticut’s local Boards’ of Education when it came to reporting suspected child abuse. Within the study there was a call for stricter laws to govern the training of those school employees that were required to report suspected child abuse. Though subsequent laws were enacted in both 2011 and 2013, here in Stamford a child abuse scandal has emerged that mirrors a great deal of the concerns reported four years earlier. This October, both the principal and assistant principal of Stamford High School were arrested for their failure to report a sexual relationship between a male student and female English teacher. This relationship had become common knowledge both within and outside the school, and the school officials who were arrested failed to follow the required reporting practices mandated by Connecticut state law.

The October arrests of Stamford High School administrators came after months of suspicion that a relationship was occurring between a Stamford teacher and her male student. Suspicions of the alleged sexual relationship were reported to the school by teachers, students, and a school security guard, as well as by one of the employees of the group home where the student resided. It is alleged that the school’s principal and vice principal had heard about the suspicious relationship as early as December 2013, and that they conducted their own investigation instead of reporting the abuse to Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) as required under Connecticut state law. While the school officials stated that they had reported their suspicions to the administrators at the office of the superintendent, the actual relationship was not reported to the DCF until June 2014. In fact the final reporting to the DCF occurred on the same day that it became known that the student’s group home counselor was aware of the alleged child abuse.

The 2010 Protecting Our Children Study

The situation at Stamford High was mired by multiple allegations that were ignored and not properly investigated by the school board. The handling of the situation mirrors the past shortcomings addressed in the 2010 Protecting Our Children Study. This study examined the five Connecticut school districts of Southington, New Haven, Westport, East Hartford and Bridgeport and reviewed over a 100 investigations that had been conducted during 2001 through 2009 by Connecticut’s DCF. The study found “serious concerns about how schools, DCF and the SDE respond to allegations that a school employee has abused or neglected a child.” It was revealed that the various school districts’ policies regarding suspected child abuse reporting were outdated, incorrect and not properly distributed to those school employees that the law mandated to report such abuse. Furthermore, “numerous examples” were discovered during which the various school districts vehemently discouraged reporting child abuse to the DCF and that many school district employees “expressed a reluctance to file reports due to a strong fear of retaliation.”

 Child abuse by school employees represents a real risk to a family’s most vulnerable members. If you need assistance with child abuse claims or any other family law issues, contact one of our experienced Stamford family law attorneys here at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP today.

Concerns Facing Connecticut Medicare Advantage Seniors

January 15th, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Connecticut family law attorney, Connecticut Medicaid attorney,Connecticut elder law attorney,The Medicare Advantage program covers 16 million seniors and provides alternatives to government-based Medicare programs. Under Medicare Advantage, patients can only receive medical care from provider networks that are contracted to participate in the plan, and must stay with the plan for the remainder of the calendar year, even if they can no longer see their physician because they are no longer under contract with their Medicare Advantage insurance company.

In 2013, Connecticut’s Medicare Advantage plans took a huge hit when UnitedHealthcare, the insurance company, cut Connecticut 2,200 physicians from its health care provider list. As a result, Connecticut patients were forced to leave the doctors who had provided them with services for years, and were also simultaneously unable to switch to another plan, and thus could not return to more traditional Medicare plan options. In response to the turmoil that has been caused by forcing Medicare Advantage seniors to stay in the plan, the government has announced that it will offer some senior patients the option to leave their existing plans if their insurance no longer covers their physician or health care providers.

The Medicare Advantage Special Enrollment Period Option

In 2013, thousands of seniors in Connecticut and nine other states were either assigned new doctors or left without a medical care professional after insurers such as UnitedHealthcare discontinued contracts with certain physicians. In response, Connecticut seniors spoke out at local community gatherings, including one held by the Fairfield County, Connecticut Medical Association, where it was revealed that: “they were being forced to leave their doctors, and there wasn’t anything they could do about it…they couldn’t go to another plan, and they couldn’t go back to traditional Medicare.”

In response, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, will allow for a special enrollment period in order to change the situations facing senior Medicare Advantage plan members. Medicare officials will be able to allow a specialized three-month enrollment period following network changes. However such a period is allowed only when the network change is “considered significant based on the effect on or potential to affect current plan enrollees.” If such a three-month enrollment period is allowed, patients could exit their existing Medicare Advantage plan and either join another similar plan or a traditional Medicare plan that includes the physician with whom they would like to stay.

The concern is that it is unclear what would be considered “significant” enough to warrant a special three-month enrollment period. A Medicare spokesperson stated that the CMS will make case-by-case determinations when deciding whether to allow special enrollment periods. Such determinations should be based on factors such as the amount of beneficiaries that are being affected, the service area size of the Medicare Advantage plan, and whether timely and adequate advance notice was received, in addition to other factors. However, it remains unclear if there is a minimum amount of beneficiaries, services areas or providers that must be affected in order to warrant a special enrollment period.

Many Medicare members from Connecticut and beyond would like the CMS to allow for special enrollment provisions in situations such as the one facing UnitedHealthcare insurance members. However, the granting of such periods is completely within the discretion of the CMS, and individual beneficiaries who are dealing with a physician no longer being covered by their Medicare Advantage cannot request that a special enrollment period be granted on their behalf. If you need advice on any Medicare or Medicaid-related legal issues, contact the experienced Stamford elder law attorneys here at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP today.

Connecticut Now Requires Mandatory Family Law Court E-Filing

January 8th, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Connecticut family law procedures, Connecticut divorce lawyer, Connecticut family law attorney, Electronic court filing, typically referred to as e-filing, is the process of transmitting legal documents from and to a litigant or attorney to the court and other relevant parties. In 2004, Connecticut began offering electronic filing in both small claims and civil matters. Now it has been mandated lawyers are required to e-file family law court documents. Upon the release of this new mandate, some have voiced concerns about the transmission of such sensitive documents like financial affidavits and mental health reports. In fact, some have worried that e-filing these documents would make them easily accessible for anyone with computer access. However, Connecticut judicial branch officials have gone on the record to dispel such concerns and have stated that sensitive family court documents in records, such as court orders and motions involved in divorce cases, will only be available for digital viewing by non-attorneys at the actual courthouse and not remotely on computers located outside of the court. Furthermore, some documents will be capable of being viewed even at the courthouse if protected by court order or law.

 Connecticut and Family Law Court E-filing

The Connecticut family court chief administrative judge has made a point to emphasize that the ability to view electronic family law cases will be extremely more limited than the viewing of civil case documents. Documents that will be subject to e-filing requirements include those documents related to civil union/marriage dissolution, legal separations, and annulment. While e-filing is now mandatory for attorneys, self-represented litigants are not require to e-file, though they have the option to e-file if they choose. Officials have taken special care to address the privacy concerns being raised by Connecticut. During the implementation of the civil court e-filing system, and also during the decision to require e-filing in family court cases, there were years of meetings to determine how to best establish the e-filing process. Court administrators also provided guidance on how to draft the e-filing process, along with years of technical work on the system.

The Benefits of Connecticut’s E-filing System

Gone are the days of attorneys and their support staff having to trudge downtown to the local courthouse to file motions and other documents. No longer will mailing fees have to be paid to send documents to the courthouse. Now, attorneys can e-file documents remotely from their office while also having the ability to view relevant court documents filed by opposing counsel without submitting document requests in person at the courthouse. The costs and time that will be saved by the e-filing system will benefit attorneys, their clients, and also court officials and employees. Family law attorneys even had some say in the decision and were able to voice their concerns that they wanted to ensure that children’s birth dates, mothers’ maiden names, and other sensitive information was secured and protected on the e-filing system.

In October and November, special e-filing training sessions were held for members of the Connecticut family law bar. Our attorneys are ready to comply with the new family court e-filing court requirement. Contact the experienced Stamford family law attorneys at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP for legal representation in family court.

New Immigration Reform Will Keep Immigrant Families Intact

December 22nd, 2014 at 8:23 am

Connecticut immigration attorney, Connecticut family law attorney, Stamford immigration lawyer,President Obama recently announced his plans for immigration reform that takes a distinctively family-oriented approach. Under the reform plan, the unauthorized immigrant parents of U.S. citizens who do not have criminal records could soon be provided with three years of legal status in the U.S. This legal status will provide these parents with protection against deportation. In order to receive this status, parents will be required to register with the U.S. government, pass a background check and also pay both past-owed taxes and application fees. As a result, the illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens residing in Connecticut and throughout the U.S. will be allowed to step out of the shadows, and acknowledge their unauthorized entry in order to keep their families together and free from deportation.

Connecticut and Immigration Reform

President Obama’s executive order mirrors Connecticut’s own stance on immigration. Last year, the Connecticut state legislature passed legislation that prevents federal deportation of unauthorized immigrants in Connecticut, unless these immigrants have serious criminal convictions, or have already previously been targeted by the federal government for deportation. Furthermore, this November, Connecticut’s interim correction commissioner told federal authorities that his organization would no longer continue to enforce Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detainment requests for undocumented immigrants under federal order of deportation. Instead, the organization will only cooperate with ICE requests for those individuals with criminal records.

The Necessity for Immigration Reform

Executive orders are part of the presidential powers and are typically invoked in situations where Congress has been silent and has not provided a law to address an important issue facing the U.S. The problems facing the U.S.’s current immigration system present a significant social issue affecting over five million unauthorized immigrants, as well as their lawful U.S. citizen relatives. Furthermore, the decision to provide immigration reform through executive order is an attempt to free up the resources and time of the current federal immigration system so that those unauthorized criminals that present real dangers to the U.S. can be the focus of the immigration system.

In the past decade, the existing U.S. immigration system has become increasingly unable to effectively accommodate the large amount of unauthorized immigrants who have entered the country. In fact, the current U.S. deportation process for unauthorized immigrants is so encumbered that it can take years between an unauthorized immigrant’s first appearance at his or her initial appearance before the Immigration Court, and his or her actual hearing to determine deportability. This long deportation process is due to the fact that there are simply not enough U.S. Immigration Court judges to hear all of the cases that are on their docket, which means that after an initial hearing, the court is unable to schedule a deportation date until at least a year in the future. During this time period between the initial hearing and deportability, unauthorized immigrants can become parents to U.S. citizens, or marry U.S. citizen spouses, which further complicates the deportation process.
Now that non-criminal U.S. parents will not be required to go through the deportation process, the Immigration Court will have more time, energy, and resources to deport those unauthorized immigrants that commit crimes and present a risk to U.S. President Obama’s new executive order represents a big win for families throughout the U.S. and Connecticut. Furthermore, this family-oriented approach mirrors some of the key immigration policies of Connecticut, by focusing on the deportation of only those unauthorized immigrants who are criminals. If you live in Connecticut and have any family law-related questions or legal issues, contact an experienced Stamford  family law attorney at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP today.

Are You Having a Rough Time With An Aging Family Member? Consider Eldercare Mediation

December 15th, 2014 at 8:30 am

Connecticut family law attorney, Connecticut Medicaid attorney,Connecticut elder law attorney,Are you dealing with troubles associated with elder care? Are constant disputes arising amongst siblings and caretakers? If so, an eldercare mediator might be a great option if you have an aging parent or other family member in need of long-term care. Eldercare mediators function as peacemakers during difficult and complex elder care and aging-related disputes. Successful elder mediators help families avoid expensive and stressful court cases, while also attempting to keep the family intact. Elder mediators do not act as advisers; instead, they provide investigation and mediation services in order to help families develop practical solutions for the variety of issues that families deal with when maneuvering through various elder care issues.

The Basics of Eldercare Mediation

Elder mediation is a specialized type of mediation aimed at handling the variety of conflicts that arise in the context of aging and eldercare. Elder mediation places an important emphasis on direct, honest and open communications amongst disagreeing parties, while also focusing on creating an environment through which all participants have the ability to voice concerns and work together towards mutually beneficial solutions for arising disputes. An assortment of transitions and changes occur as loved ones age. Elder mediation could be required when a specific problem or issue arises with regards to the aging process and elder care. Relevant issues that elder mediation can assist with include:

  • Estate planning and administration;
  • Healthcare;
  • Caregiving;
  • Guardianship;
  • Living and housing relationships;
  • End-of-life decision-making and planning; and
  • Insurance and finances.

Elder mediation is most effective when specialized knowledge is required about specific elder care-related issues. In fact, elder mediators must be specially trained in order to understand the various effects that aging can have on families, individuals, and the broader community. The elder mediation process is similar to other types of mediation with the elder mediator acting as a neutral third party and unbiased participant. The mediator seeks to use a systematic process that provides an open environment, which promotes and facilitates problem-solving and solution creation.

Eldercare mediators are specially trained to understand the effects of aging on an individual, families, and the community, while also utilizing a process, and providing an environment, that promotes problem solving. Eldercare mediators are typically social workers or attorneys. The most basic goal of elder mediation is dispute resolution through an agreement between all involved parties. Elder mediation aims to reach such an agreement in order to avoid resolutions negotiated by attorneys or mandated by judges. The primary role of the mediator, in this context, is to facilitate effective communication in order to bring about informed decision making.

Eldercare mediation is beneficial in that every person who is affected by the situation will have the opportunity to express their concerns in a confidential and neutral setting. Eldercare mediation also provides an important function of defusing tensions amongst parties. Elder care and aging issues can bring up an assortment of serious and stressful issues and reopen old wounds. Mediators ease the communication process, and are especially helpful for family members who live in different locations and are in dispute with one another over the care of aging parents or other family members.

If you are currently experiencing problems related to elder care, it is in your best interests to contact the experienced Stamford elder law attorneys at Greenberg & Krieger, LLP today. We can help you understand your options, and craft a plan that is beneficial for you and your loved ones.

OVC Lawyer Marketing, Inc.