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Facts About Divorce’s Impact on Children

Facts

  •  About 40 percent of all children in the United States today are children of divorced parents; 20 to 25 percent of them show signs that they are not dealing well with this change in their family structure and are at risk for negative outcomes, including substance abuse.

                  

  • Children of divorced parents are more likely to engage in substance use and have substance-using friends than children from two-parent homes.

                         

  • In one study, 54 percent of sixth and seventh graders with divorced parents use alcohol compared to 36 percent of children with parents who never divorced.

                         

  • Forty-nine percent of premarital cohabitations are likely to break up within 5 years, compared to 10 percent of those in a first marriage; 62 percent of cohabitations end after 10 years, while the chance of a first marriage ending at that point is 33 percent.

                         

  • In 2005, an estimated 680,000 youths (2.7 percent) aged 12 to 17 had ever been in foster care.

 

  • Youths who have ever been in foster care had higher rates of past year use of any illicit drug than those who were never in foster care (33.6 vs. 21.7 percent). The rate of past year alcohol use was similar for these two groups.

 

  • Youths who have ever been in foster care had higher rates of need for substance abuse treatment than youths who have never been in foster care. More youths who have ever been in foster care were in need of treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use in the past year (17.4 percent) compared with youths who have never been in foster care.

 

  • Two out of three children placed in foster care are reunited with their birth parents within 2 years. But a significant number spend long periods of time in foster care while waiting for adoption or other permanent arrangements

 

  • The Orphan Foundation of America estimates that more than 25,000 foster youth age out of State care or run away every year. (Estimates from several other government and private sources range from 20,000 to 30,000.)

 

  • In the only nationally representative study of youth discharged from foster care that has been published (1991, based on 1988 data), 39 percent were emotionally disturbed, 50 percent had used illegal drugs, and 25 percent were involved with the legal system.
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Child Protection Mediation, Part I

What is Child Protection Mediation?

             Child protection mediation is a voluntary program that tries to solve problems without taking sides.

             The program is designed to add to Order of Temporary Custody Neglect Termination of Parental Rights and other types of case conferences involved with child protection.

  Child Protection Mediation is:

  •  Purely voluntary
  • Confidential
  • Held only if all parties to the case agree
  • Referred by the court, not ordered by the court
  • Designed to cover any issues in dispute

  Locations and Telephone Numbers:

  •  Juvenile Matters at Bridgeport, (203) 579-6544
  • Juvenile Matters and Child Protection Session at Danbury,  (203) 797-4407
  • Juvenile Matters at Hartford, (860) 244-7900
  • Juvenile Matters at Middletown, (860) 344-2986
  • Child Protection Session at Middletown, (860) 343-6456
  • Juvenile Matters at New Britain, (860) 515-5165
  • Juvenile Matters at New Haven, (860) 786-0337
  • Juvenile Matters at Norwalk, (203) 866-9275
  • Juvenile Matters at Rockville, (860) 872-7143
  • Juvenile Matters at Stamford, (203) 956-5708
  • Juvenile Matters at Torrington, (860) 489-0201
  • Juvenile Matters at Waterbury, (203) 596-4202
  • Juvenile Matters at Waterford, (860) 440-5880
  • Juvenile Matters and Child Protection Session at Willimantic, (860) 456-5700
 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Father’s Rights During Divorce: Parenting Education

 PARENTING EDUCATION

CGS § 46b-69b requires the Family Division of the Judicial Branch to establish a parenting education program to educate people on the impact on children of the restructuring of families. The program must include information on the developmental stages of children, the adjustment of children to parental separation, dispute resolution and conflict management, visitation guidelines, stress reduction for children, and cooperative parenting.

The court must order any party to a family relations dispute to participate in the parenting education program unless: (1) the parties agree, with the court’s approval, not to participate; (2) the court determines that participation is not necessary; or (3) the parties select and participate in a comparable parenting education program.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Father’s Rights During Divorce: The Best Interest Standard and Joint Custody Presumption

BEST INTEREST STANDARD

            In any family relations case, including dissolutions, the court is authorized to require an investigation of the circumstances of the child and family and cannot if it orders one, dispose of the case until the investigation report has been filed (CGS § 46b-6 and 7). The investigation can include the child’s parentage and surroundings; his age, habits, and history; the home conditions, habits, and character of his parents; an evaluation of his physical and mental condition; the cause of the marital discord; and the parties’ financial ability to provide support. The court may also appoint counsel for any minor child when it deems it to be in the child’s best interest (CGS § 46b-54).

            The court can make and modify any order regarding custody, care, support, or visitation (CGS § 46b-56). It can assign custody to the parents jointly, to either parent, or to a third party “according to its best judgment upon the facts of the case and subject to such conditions and limitations as it deems equitable.” In making or modifying such an order the court must “(1) be guided by the best interests of the child, giving consideration to the wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capable of forming an intelligent preference, provided in making the initial order the court may take into consideration the causes for dissolution of the marriage or legal separation if such causes are relevant in determination of the best interest of the child and (2) consider whether the party satisfactorily completed participation in a parenting education program.”

JOINT CUSTODY PRESUMPTION

            Joint custody is defined as an order awarding legal custody to both parents, providing for joint decision-making by the parents, and requiring that physical custody be shared by the parents so as to ensure the child has continuing contact with both parents (CGS § 46b-56a). The court can award joint legal custody without awarding joint physical custody if the parents agree to it.

            The statute establishes a presumption that joint custody is in the child’s best interest, if the parents have so agreed. In such a case, if the court denies a joint custody award, it must state in its decision why it did so. If only one parent seeks joint custody, the court can order both parties to submit to conciliation at their own expense with the costs allocated between them based on ability to pay and as determined by the court.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Father’s Rights During Divorce: Overview

 SUMMARY

Fathers have the same legal rights as mothers in divorce cases involving child custody. Judges use the “best interest of the child” standard in awarding custody of minor children. If both parents agree, the statutes establish a presumption of joint custody. But testimony and other evidence can rebut this presumption.

Disputes about violations of custody orders are resolved by bringing the matter to the attention of the Superior Court, which has jurisdiction over such disputes. The court can use its mediation services to help resolve disputes, but ultimately it decides what the facts are and can modify a custody order or hold parents in contempt of court for violating custody orders.

Someone who believes the Superior Court treated him unfairly can appeal the decision to the Appellate Court, which can review the transcripts and other court records, receive written arguments from each side in the form of legal briefs, and hear oral arguments. Some disputes can ultimately reach the state Supreme Court.

A person who feels a Superior Court judge treated him in an unfair and unprofessional manner can also file a complaint against the judge with the Judicial Review Council. This Council has the authority to investigate complaints to determine whether the judge acted in accordance with the rules governing judicial conduct. If not, it can reprimand or censor the judge.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Registering for Parenting Education Programs

How do I register?

 Complete Section III of the Parenting Education  Program – Order, Certificate and   Results form  (JD-FM-149). The forms are available at all Judicial District Clerks’ Offices, Court Service Centers and on the Judicial Branch website. Your lawyer or the program provider may also have the form.

 You may attend any approved parenting education program in the state.

 Contact the program provider most convenient for you to get information about  registration, fee arrangements, class dates, times and locations.

 Contact the program provider to register for a class. The court will not register you.

 Be sure to tell the program provider if you must complete the class by a certain date.

 Bring the Parenting Education Program Order, Certificate and Results form (JD-FM-149) with you to the first class.

 Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the program provider will send you and the court a certificate of completion.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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More Information on Parenting Education Programs

HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?

 Participation in a parenting education program costs $125 per person. You must pay the program provider directly. The fee is not paid to the court. If you cannot afford the fee, complete an Applica­tion for Waiver of Fees form (JD-FM-75) and file it with the clerk. If you are in court when you are ordered to attend a program, and you are unable to afford the fee, you may request that the fee be waived at that time.

 HOW LONG IS THE PROGRAM?

 Parenting education programs are six hours. The program may be offered in two three hour classes, or in three two hour classes. Check with the program provider about the schedule.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS

 In order to participate in a parenting education program you must make the arrangements your­self. Following is a list of the programs approved by the court. You can attend any program in the state. You must call the program provider directly to obtain specific information concerning dates, times, and locations of the classes as well as the registration procedures and fee arrangements. Be sure to tell them if you have been ordered to complete the program by a certain date. Remember to bring the parenting education certification form with you to the first class.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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