In Connecticut, family law issues can arise in many different courts:
- The Superior Court, Family Division
- The Superior Court, Part A and B Criminal Matters
- The Superior Court, Juvenile Matters
- The Magistrate Court for Support Issues
- Probate Court
The legal remedies, the procedures and the authority of the court to act are different in each case. Legal costs also vary widely depending on the court involved.
It is important that your case be heard in the right court or courts to improve your chances of obtaining the best result. Attorney Judith Dixon has over 35 years' experience in all of these courts and will guide you in making the right choices.
Call Attorney Judith Dixon for an appointment to discuss your family’s legal issues. (860) 379-7531.
Family Law - Mediation/Collaborative Law
The Connecticut system of dissolution is based on the theory of "equitable distribution." The parties can engage in negotiation to determine what is an equitable distribution of their property, assets, income and liabilities. As long as the parties can reach an agreement, that agreement is written down and presented to a judge. The parties will answer simple questions in front of the judge, such as: Have you read this? Do you understand this? Do you think it is fair? Would you like me to approve this? While a Judge has the ultimate authority to approve an agreement, if both parties believe it is fair, the Judge will most likely approve the agreement.
One of the difficulties in the settling of a pending dissolution is that the parties cannot always agree. They often require the assistance of third parties who could help. A lawyer mediator, a collaborative lawyer, or programs that are available through litigation such as the Special Masters Program or a judicial pretrial will provide neutral input so that the parties can reach an agreement.
The parties can hire a mediator who will assist both of them in reaching an agreement. The mediator does not represent one of the parties alone but assists both of them. The mediator cannot represent one party against the other. When the parties reach an agreement, the mediator prepares the written agreement and can prepare other documents so that the dissolution may be processed in a timely and correct fashion. The mediator can appear at court as a friend of the court to ask the parties the necessary questions and make sure that the dissolution is processed promptly and correctly.
Collaborative law is a recent development in which the parties and their lawyers agree that they will not go to court except to finalize the agreement. They work on negotiating to try to resolve the parties' differences. They can agree to experts to value important assets such as a home or pension plan. Meetings to resolve issues can be held at hours that are convenient to the clients, as opposed to having to meet a court's scheduling issues.
Even in the litigation process, the goal of the clients is to try to reach an agreement. The court has programs such as the Special Masters, or judicial pretrial or Family Services programs that are available to people to provide input from neutral third parties to suggest avenues of settlement for the case.
In any event, the goal of this process is to reach an "equitable distribution" that the parties can agree upon. The sooner the parties can agree, the less expensive the process becomes, since attorney's fees are based on the amount of time spent.
Attorney Judith Dixon can provide services as a mediator, collaborative lawyer or litigator.
Winsted, CT 06098
In Business Since 1982
Please ask if you have a scheduling problem. Initial consultation fee for most types of matters: $50.00.