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Frequently Ask Questions

What is Chapter 7, How Does it work?

The lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, can assist you in understanding Chapter 7 bankruptcy and with preparing and filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, if appropriate. Our experience, knowledge, and high level of personal attention are designed to provide you with quality legal representation and advice in an atmosphere in which you will feel comfortable.

Please contact an attorney at our office for a free confidential consultation to further discuss your options or with any questions. We are here for you. Chapter 7 is that part (or chapter) of the Bankruptcy Code that deals with liquidation. The Bankruptcy Code is that part of the federal laws that deal with bankruptcy.

A person who files under Chapter 7 is called a debtor. In a Chapter 7 case, the debtor must turn his or her nonexempt property, if any exists, over to a trustee, who then converts the property to cash and pays the debtor's creditors. In return, the debtor receives a Chapter 7 discharge, if he or she pays the filing fee, is eligible for such a discharge, and obeys the orders and rules of the court.

 

What Is A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge?

It is a court order releasing a debtor from all of his or her dischargeable debts and ordering the creditors not to attempt to collect them from the debtor. A debt that is discharged is one that the debtor is released from and does not have to pay. Some debts, however, are not dischargeable under Chapter 7, and some persons are not eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge.

 

Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer?

When determining a child custody and visitation arrangement during a divorce, (and if you are not married, as part of a custody action) it is always necessary to evaluate the individual needs of the child or children involved. Every case is naturally different, and each child has unique needs. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we listen carefully to you, work closely with you and aim to develop a parenting plan (visitation plan) that meets your directives.

There are many options available for both legal and physical custody arrangements. Contact Donaldson & Norris, LLC to discover these options and to speak with an attorney who will help you determine the right direction for your children and your family. In our experience, absent serious health or safety concerns or an inability of a parent to take care of a child, sufficient access by each parent is optimal.

 

Legal Custody ● Physical Custody?

The parties must decide both the legal and physical custody terms for their situation. Legal custody refers to the parents' right to make important decisions regarding their children's life and care, including but not limited to education and medical decisions. Parents can have joint legal custody or one parent may have sole legal custody. Some parents believe that the optimal approach is to have joint legal custody, however, one parent has the “final say” on certain issues in order to minimize conflict and delay. Physical custody determines who will be the primary custodial parent.

Physical custody can be shared, or one parent may be designated as the primary custodian while the other has a parenting access plan. Often times the parents can account for their own schedules and that of the child(ren) and make the best plan.

When parents are able to work out a custody or parenting arrangement amicably through mediation or negotiations, rather than in court, they then have the ability to make personalized decisions that are appropriate for their children. However, amicable resolutions are not possible in all families. If you need a child custody lawyer to represent you in court, the lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, have the skill and experience in family litigation, as well as a commitment to advocating for the results desired by our client. If you are concerned about your child's safety with the other parent, we will do our best to ensure that the orders of the court and any agreements of the parties are directed at keeping your child safe. Some situations require supervised visits or no contact whatsoever in order to accomplish that goal. In addition to resolving child custody and visitation issues, we also educate clients on the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines and help you develop solutions to your financial matrix.

 

Civil Unions and related issues?

Greater Danbury Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we take pride in our professional and knowledgeable legal service to you. If you are contemplating or facing dispute regarding a civil union in Connecticut, a skilled divorce lawyer can help ensure that you understand your legal options and work to protect your interests and those of your family.

Our firm takes great care to provide you with regular updates on the status of your case and with the information you need to make knowledgeable legal Each case is approached according to your directive and our counsel. To discuss your individual questions and concerns in a confidential consultation with a Fairfield County or Litchfield County family law attorney call Donaldson & Norris, today. We will make every attempt to put your mind at ease as you contemplate your life after terminating your civil union, guiding you through the process of child custody and visitation and division of assets. Donaldson & Norris, LLC, also represents clients in relocation issues, and post-judgment modifications of custody and support. In addition to representing parents and adults, attorneys at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, represent minor children, both as an attorney and a guardian ad litem, in all form of contested child-related family law issues.

 

Dissolution of Marriage?

Dissolution of Marriage / Legal Separation Greater Danbury Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we take pride in our professional and knowledgeable legal service to you. If you are contemplating or facing divorce in Connecticut, a skilled divorce lawyer can help ensure that you understand your legal options and work to protect your interests and those of your family. Our firm takes great care to provide you with regular updates on the status of your case and with the information you need to make knowledgeable legal decisions. Each case is approached according to your directive and our counsel.

To discuss your individual questions and concerns in a confidential consultation with a Fairfield County or Litchfield County family law attorney call Donaldson & Norris, today. We will make every attempt to put your mind at ease as you contemplate your life after divorce, guiding you through the process of child custody and visitation, division of marital assets, alimony, and child support. Donaldson & Norris, LLC, also represents clients in relocation issues, and post-judgment modifications of custody and support. In addition to representing parents and adults, attorneys at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, represent minor children, both as an attorney and a guardian ad litem, in all form of contested child-related family law issues.

 

Alimony and Child Support Issues?

If you are involved in a divorce, you likely have many questions regarding how the dissolution of your marriage will affect you and your children financially. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we deal with these kinds of issues every business day. If you are in need of a knowledgeable, experienced divorce lawyer who will advocate on your behalf for an alimony and child support arrangement that best fits your needs, we can help. Spousal support (Alimony) and child support are calculated very differently in Connecticut.

We understand the issues involved and will explain how your unique circumstances may affect the court's final judgment. Donaldson & Norris, LLC, will know when to consider the use of accountants and other financial planners and advisors based upon your specific case.

Child Support

In Connecticut, child support guidelines are based upon the net (after tax and mandatory payroll deductions) disposable income of both parents. Connecticut also requires, in addition to the child support payment, that both parents contribute a percentage toward the out of pocket medical and dental expenses of the children at issue.

Additionally, both parents shall contribute a percentage to work-related daycare expenses. We have access to the child support calculator that can help you anticipate the cost/benefit of this law.

Alimony/Spousal Support

There are no statutory guidelines for alimony. However, based on our experience handling these cases, we are able to effectively anticipate and counsel clients as to what they can reasonably expect the court to order. The following is a list of factors the courts typically consider when determining spousal maintenance:

· Length of marriage

· Causes for breakdown of marriage

· Age, health, and occupation of the parties

· Amount and sources of income

· Vocational skills · Employability

· Estate and needs of each party

· Which parent will have physical custody of the child(ren) Each client has different needs.

No two cases are exactly the same. We represent husbands, wives, mothers and fathers in alimony and child support cases. We will work closely with you to determine your interests and priorities, and advocate on your behalf at every stage of the legal process. In some cases, clients are able to reach spousal and child support agreements through negotiations, mediation, or collaborative law. However, when an amicable arrangement cannot be met, we will zealously represent your interests in family court.

 

Greater Danbury Family Law

Greater Danbury Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we take pride in our professional and knowledgeable legal service to you. We provide our service in an attentive and supportive atmosphere. Each client is unique, with different needs (both legally and emotionally), and we handle each case with careful attention to your individual needs. From prenuptial agreements to divorce and post-judgment modifications, we provide attentive counsel to your family law needs and concerns. Each case is approached according to your directive and our counsel.

To discuss your individual questions and concerns in a confidential consultation with a Fairfield County or Litchfield County family law attorney call Donaldson & Norris, today. We will make every attempt to put your mind at ease as you contemplate your life after divorce, guiding you through the process of child custody and visitation, division of marital assets, alimony, and child support. Donaldson & Norris, LLC, also represents clients in relocation issues, and post-judgment modifications of custody and support. In addition to representing parents and adults, attorneys at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, represent minor children, both as an attorney and a guardian ad litem, in all form of contested child-related family law issues. We are conscious of the impact of being involved in the Court system upon children and will make every effort to resolve the case in a non-adversarial manner. However, in the event there is no other alternative, we are an experienced litigation firm prepared to protect your rights in court.

 

Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer

When determining a child custody and visitation arrangement during a divorce, (and if you are not married, as part of a custody action) it is always necessary to evaluate the individual needs of the child or children involved. Every case is naturally different, and each child has unique needs. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we listen carefully to you, work closely with you and aim to develop a parenting plan (visitation plan) that meets your directives. There are many options available for both legal and physical custody arrangements. Contact Donaldson & Norris, LLC, to discover these options and to speak with an attorney who will help you determine the right direction for your children and your family. In our experience, absent serious health or safety concerns or an inability of a parent to take care of a child, sufficient access by each parent is optimal.


Legal Custody ● Physical Custody
The parties must decide both the legal and physical custody terms for their situation. Legal custody refers to the parents' right to make important decisions regarding their children's life and care, including but not limited to education and medical decisions. Parents can have joint legal custody or one parent may have sole legal custody. Some parents believe that the optimal approach is to have joint legal custody, however, one parent has the “final say” on certain issues in order to minimize conflict and delay. Physical custody determines who will be the primary custodial parent. Physical custody can be shared, or one parent may be designated as the primary custodian while the other has a parenting access plan. Often times the parents can account for their own schedules and that of the child(ren) and make the best plan. When parents are able to work out a custody or parenting arrangement amicably through mediation or negotiations, rather than in court, they then have the ability to make personalized decisions that are appropriate for their children. However, amicable resolutions are not possible in all families. If you need a child custody lawyer to represent you in court, the lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, have the skill and experience in family litigation, as well as a commitment to advocating for the results desired by our client. If you are concerned about your child's safety with the other parent, we will do our best to ensure that the orders of the court and any agreements of the parties are directed at keeping your child safe. Some situations require supervised visits or no contact whatsoever in order to accomplish that goal. In addition to resolving child custody and visitation issues, we also educate clients on the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines and help you develop solutions to your financial matrix.

 

Legal Assistance with Property Division?

If you are about to start a divorce, or in the middle of a divorce action, it is extremely important to consider how the dissolution of your marriage will affect your financial situation in the near and distant future. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we work diligently to protect your premarital assets and develop solutions for a fair division of your marital assets so you can move forward with your life.
If you are in need of a confident, experienced family law lawyer to advocate for you in your divorce, contact us today.
Equitable Distribution – Does not mean equal
Connecticut is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will distribute assets in a fair and reasonable manner, but not necessarily 50% to either party. In doing so, the court will consider a number of factors related to the marriage, including: · Length of marriage and causes for the breakdown of the marriage · Age, health, and occupation of the parties · Amount and sources of income · Vocational skills and employability · Estate and needs of each party · Opportunity for each party to acquire future capital assets and income · Which party contributed to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of assets and the value of the assets involved
A premarital asset is any asset that a party owned prior to the marriage. While this may look and feel as though it is separate property, it is subject to distribution by a Court based upon Connecticut Law.

Marital assets are all assets that the couple owns, without regard to the time that the asset was acquired.
Donaldson & Norris, LLC, will gather all of the documentation that relates to the marital assets, including bank statements, 401Ks, and pension plans. Sometimes it is necessary to hire experts, such as a certified real estate appraiser or actuary to determine the value of a pension or other retirement accounts. We work regularly with a network of experts in determining the value of these assets. In some cases the experts assist in shaping the distribution of these assets. We will also review any documentation related to the value of premarital assets.
In every case, we are committed to protecting our clients' and aiding them in untangling the financial web that was woven during their marriage. If you are considering legal separation or divorce, or if you have been served with legal separation or divorce papers, you must contact us today. We will help you prepare for what lies ahead and work for the fair division of property in your litigated or negotiated divorce.

 

Tax Consequences of Divorce

Greater Danbury Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers In any divorce, there are always tax consequences that must be carefully considered. These consequences can amount to substantial tax penalties or savings depending upon the final agreement reached. Contacting a skilled lawyer with experience in these matters can help ensure that your financial interests are protected both during and after your divorce. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC our attorneys in Danbury, Connecticut, will discuss your case in a complimentary consultation.

Taxes and Divorce Implications Tax issues most commonly arise when divorcing spouses divide their property, and pay or receive alimony. We will always take the time to explain these standard issues with you. Other divorce tax issues include: · Division of retirement accounts: Retirement accounts can be divided or allocated to a spouse without any tax consequences so long as it goes directly into another retirement account. If it does not, the recipient may be able to claim a divorce hardship and pay normal income taxes. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is often required for the tax free transfer of such retirement assets.

· Alimony/spousal support: Alimony is considered a tax deduction for the spouse paying it, while it is considered income for those receiving it. There are very specific rules by the Internal Revenue Service which define the nature of alimony (taxable or not) There are many other tax implications to consider when finalizing a divorce.

Our experienced lawyers will thoroughly analyze your situation and make you aware of all potential considerations before pursuing a resolution. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we take pride in our professional and knowledgeable legal service to you. If you are contemplating or facing divorce in Connecticut, a skilled divorce lawyer can help ensure that you understand your legal options and work to protect your interests and those of your family. Our firm takes great care to provide you with regular updates on the status of your case and with the information you need to make knowledgeable legal decisions. We will make every attempt to put your mind at ease as you contemplate your life after divorce, guiding you through the process of child custody and visitation, division of marital assets, alimony, and child support. Donaldson & Norris, LLC, also represents clients in relocation issues, and post-judgment modifications of custody and support.

 

Modification of Court Orders?

Greater Danbury Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we take pride in our professional and knowledgeable legal service to you. If you are contemplating or facing modification of your divorce orders in Connecticut, a skilled divorce lawyer can help ensure that you understand your legal options and work to protect your interests and those of your family. Our firm takes great care to provide you with regular updates on the status of your case and with the information you need to make knowledgeable legal decisions. Perhaps an on-going medical condition or the loss of a job has made it impossible for you to comply with existing court orders. No matter the situation, a dedicated and aggressive attorney can protect your interests during these difficult times. If you recently lost a job and are unable to pay alimony or child support, modifying an existing divorce agreement may provide much-needed relief.

Any informal agreement (non-court ordered) with your ex-spouse is not legally valid. YOU can still be held in contempt of court for failing to comply with the original order. Defending a Motion to Modify In addition to representing individuals who want or need a post divorce modification, our divorce lawyers also represent those seeking to challenge a modification.

Often the payee — person receiving the support — depends upon the monthly income to care for their children or curb their costs of living. Losing this financial support would prove to be financially devastating. Each case is approached according to your directive and our counsel. To discuss your individual questions and concerns in a confidential consultation with a Fairfield County or Litchfield County family law attorney call Donaldson & Norris, today.

We will make every attempt to put your mind at ease as you contemplate your life after divorce, guiding you through the process of child custody and visitation, division of marital assets, alimony, and child support. Donaldson & Norris, LLC, also represents clients in relocation issues, and post-judgment modifications of custody and support. In addition to representing parents and adults, attorneys at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, represent minor children, both as an attorney and a guardian ad litem, in all form of contested child-related family law issues.

 

Prenuptial Agreements

Connecticut Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer If you want to have a prenuptial agreement or you have been asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, it is important that you understand the legal ramifications before you sign. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we have experience handling all family law issues including pre-nuptial agreements. Our experience handling complex and contested divorce case gives us a unique insight into the issues that need to be addressed when drafting a prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement).

In order to protect yourself in the event of a divorce, or to prevent confusion regarding the distribution of your assets if you are entering into a mixed family, you should have a comprehensive premarital agreement. Today, there are more and more mixed families (where children from one marriage are merged into a new family setting), which can cause a high degree of tension if not dealt with early on in the relationship. If you are getting married for the second time and have children from a prior marriage, it is important that you protect your assets, your children’s future assets and to ensure your wishes are respected and your family is taken care of according to your wishes. When drafting a prenuptial agreement, both parties must fully disclose all of their assets and liabilities and both parties must also be given an opportunity to be represented by separate attorneys or advisors.

In Connecticut, there is no such thing as a postnuptial agreement. If you intend to draft a marital agreement it must be done before the marriage. If you are contemplating a divorce, or if divorce papers have already been filed, and there is a prenuptial agreement involved, a lawyer can help you sort through all of the issues.  Donaldson & Norris, LLC, has lawyers with experience litigating prenuptial agreement issues on behalf of individuals going through a divorce.

 

Divorce Mediation

MEDIATION - Legal Services in Danbury, Connecticut The divorce process can be acrimonious and highly emotional. However, if both parties are able and willing to commit to working together through the process, rather than engaging in a costly drawn out courtroom battle, they are much more likely to come to agreements that work best for the entire family moving forward.

At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we educate clients about the options they have in lieu of litigation, including mediation. We are committed to presenting the best resolution to our mediation clients, and can serve you from beginning to end. We take into account the unique circumstances involved in your case. We will discuss the legal impacts based upon your mediation needs, concerns, and questions. Working Together to Resolve Issue Mediation involves an agreement by both parties to make every effort to resolve their legal issues related to their divorce through negotiations and mediation, rather than going to court and leaving the decisions up to a judge.

This is a much more appealing choice because you (the parties) are able to decide critical issues. When there are children involved, resolving parenting issues in the mediation process is often the best choice for the family (especially the children). If both parents can work together through the mediation process to develop a child-custody and parenting plan you can expect that you will be able to co-parent better in the future.

The success of the mediation depends upon you (the parties) commitment to working together to come to a suitable agreement. When it is clear that mediation is not a feasible option, the lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, are skilled and experienced litigators who can represent you in court

 

Relocation of Children

Relocation of your Family during and after a divorce Danbury post-judgment modification attorney can be found at Donaldson & Norris, LLC. We can represent you in your quest to obtain a post-judgment modification of your divorce decree, including changes in spousal support (alimony), child support, visitation, child custody, etc. We have been assisting clients in family law matters for many years.

Typically, there must be some change in circumstances to justify a post-judgment modification. If you have some change in circumstances since the original divorce decree was issued, and would like to have your divorce decree modified, then you want an experienced post-judgment modification attorney to represent you. Relocation of yourself and your children can be very complicated.

The best interest of the children will be the driving force in any courts consideration of such a request. You need to have your legal agreements reviewed, if you already have been to court, by an experienced attorney at Donaldson & Norris, LLC.

Donaldson & Norris, LLC, has attorneys that deal specifically with child custody law. We represent clients throughout the greater Danbury area (Litchfield and Fairfield County) with their child custody issues. We know that child custody issues are often emotionally charged and extremely important to both sides. At Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we have the legal experience and skill to represent you in your child custody case. We will show you compassion and a personal service to meet your individual needs. We will carefully explain the child custody process to you. Whether you are seeking custody of a child in a divorce, or if you are not married and have a child together with someone, or seeking to address a custody issues through a post-judgment modification we can help you. We have assisted clients throughout Fairfield County and Litchfield County who have been charged with contempt for disobeying the Court’s Order in their divorce decree, such as child support or alimony.

Often times, the alimony and child support enforcement (contempt charges) are a result of a change in circumstances, such as losing a job, having hours cut, or other circumstances which affect an individual’s ability to pay monies per the divorce decree. In these situations, we can often help by seeking a post-judgment modification. However, in most cases, the individual is bound by the decree until the modification order is issued by the judge. Therefore, it is important that you contact our office and speak with our experienced lawyers as soon as possible.

 

Contempt of Court?

Greater Danbury Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we take pride in our professional and knowledgeable legal service to you. If you are contemplating or facing a CONTEMPT of court motion based upon your divorce orders in Connecticut, a skilled divorce lawyer can help ensure that you understand your legal options and work to protect your interests and those of your family. Our firm takes great care to provide you with regular updates on the status of your case and with the information you need to make knowledgeable legal decisions. Perhaps an on-going medical condition or the loss of a job has made it impossible for you to comply with existing court orders. No matter the situation, a dedicated and aggressive attorney can protect your interests during these difficult times.

If you recently lost a job and are unable to pay alimony or child support, modifying an existing divorce agreement may provide much-needed relief. You can still be held in contempt of court for failing to comply with court orders, so be sure to seek legal advice. Defending a Motion for Contempt In addition to representing individuals who want or need a post divorce contempt action, our divorce lawyers also represent those seeking to defend against a motion for contempt. Each case is approached according to your directive and our counsel.

To discuss your individual questions and concerns in a confidential consultation with a Fairfield County or Litchfield County family law attorney call Donaldson & Norris, today. We will make every attempt to put your mind at ease as you contemplate your life after divorce, guiding you through the process of child custody and visitation, division of marital assets, alimony, and child support.

Donaldson & Norris, LLC, also represents clients in relocation issues, and post-judgment modifications of custody and support. In addition to representing parents and adults, attorneys at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, represent minor children, both as an attorney and a guardian ad litem, in all form of contested child-related family law issues.

 

Greater Danbury Divorce Lawyer

Greater Danbury Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, we take pride in our professional and knowledgeable legal service to you. We provide our service in an attentive and supportive atmosphere.

Each client is unique, with different needs (both legally and emotionally), and we handle each case with careful attention to your individual needs. From prenuptial agreements to divorce and post-judgment modifications, we provide attentive counsel to your family law needs and concerns. Each case is approached according to your directive and our counsel.

To discuss your individual questions and concerns in a confidential consultation with a Fairfield County or Litchfield County family law attorney call Donaldson & Norris, today. We will make every attempt to put your mind at ease as you contemplate your life after divorce, guiding you through the process of child custody and visitation, division of marital assets, alimony, and child support.

Donaldson & Norris, LLC also represents clients in relocation issues, and post-judgment modifications of custody and support. In addition to representing parents and adults, attorneys at Donaldson & Norris, LLC, represent minor children, both as an attorney and a guardian ad litem, in all form of contested child-related family law issues. We are conscious of the impact of being involved in the Court system upon children and will make every effort to resolve the case in a non-adversarial manner.

However, in the event there is no other alternative, we are an experienced litigation firm prepared to protect your rights in court.

 

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