There are some divorce cases which present novel issues and cause changes in the law. A high profile divorce in Connecticut resulted in some changes to procedures for child custody disputes. This is actually a positive development from a legal standpoint, because the court system works to make divorces more efficient and transparent over time.
Local divorce prompts changes in family law courts
A high profile and bitter divorce case had been making local headlines within the state, until it was dismissed when the husband of the couple suddenly died. During their custody dispute, there had been a situation where a judge asked the state’s judicial rules committee to change some court procedures during custody hearings.
The changes are mostly related to compensation for expert testimony, the publication of any reports or documents used to support their findings, and lists of their credentials. The judge detailed these plans in a letter that was sent to the superior court’s division for implementing procedural rules. She did not make any comments to the media about the letter or its contents. In this specific case, the court appointed guardian ad litem would have also been able to review the expert’s report.
The proposed changes are likely a response to a situation where a doctor submitted a report during the couple’s custody dispute and its contents were highly disputed by the wife’s side when used as a basis for testimony. The doctor had apparently spent a lot of time with both spouses and their children, but one side was obviously not happy about conclusions that were made based on this information. An emergency custody order was filed and changes in custody were made based on the report’s findings as well.
When the judge attempted to interview the doctor about his report, he disclosed that he was paid over $20,000 to make the report, and several thousand more to give testimony. He apparently became frustrated when speaking with the judge and walked out of the courtroom.
The husband was charged with evidence tampering during the divorce proceedings. He attempted to commit suicide and died at a hospital in New York a few days later.
Changes in life circumstances and divorces
As this story shows, divorces are usually a life changing event. Some people will even choose to take drastic actions if they feel that their lives will be permanently affected. One of the best ways to minimize the damage caused by a divorce is to speak with a legal professional early in the process. They can help you prepare for issues with property division, custody, and other procedural matters that must be addressed during the proceedings.
Learn more about divorces from a local attorney