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Showing posts with label PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY PLAN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY PLAN. Show all posts

Sunday, May 13, 2018


To this day, I still remember the struggles I endured surrounding the first Mother's Day after I filed for divorce.  It is striking that I filed in July, and as we approached Mother's Day the following year, we had no Parental Responsibility Plan in place and so it was unclear how that holiday was going to be handled.  You might think that it would be automatic that the kids would spend Mother's Day with me, but not so.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


April 9, 2018

Judge Patrick L. Carroll III,
Chief Court Administrator
Supreme Court Building
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Petition:  Add a Mandatory Parental Responsibility Plan to the Automatic Orders

Dear Judge Carroll:

On behalf of the “Divorce in Connecticut” website, and for the benefit of the people of Connecticut, I am writing to you about the website’s petition on the above referenced matter related to Parental Responsibility Plans in Family Court Matters.  The content of the petition is attached to this letter.

As was noted on the petition, while there are very specific orders in regard to financial behavior during the pendente lite period in a Family Court Matter, there are very few guidelines in regard to the care of children.  I am hoping that the CT Judicial Branch could refine the language of the automatic orders to include a provision that requires that, within 30 days of the return day, the parties submit to the Court a Parental Responsibility Plan, i.e. Form JD-FM-199.  Sometimes parents in Family Court continue on for months without any agreement which results in constant struggles for those parents and children.  These struggles inevitably require continual interventions by family relations and legal professionals which bogs down an already overburdened Court system. 

The advantage of putting a Parental Agreement in place right away is that it would establish proper boundaries between the parties in a divorce and thereby reduce confrontations, arguments, exposure to DV, unnecessary lapses in parental contact, and extra legal expenses.  In particular, each party would know what their responsibilities are in regard to their children, and they would have in place specific parenting time with their children right from the beginning.  This will reduce the unfortunate tug of war situations with children that come up during divorce proceedings due to a lack of clarity. 

It could be that parties will be unable to come to an agreement within the allotted time period, which would simply mean submitting a statement to that effect to the Court, which can then direct the case towards special services for high conflict couples.  In my opinion, you might as well know where you stand right away in a case and get started addressing the obstacles immediately rather than allowing them to fester for months before addressing them..

I have also enclosed signatures from 100 supporters who believe that this kind of provision would significantly reduce conflict between divorcing couples.  I will concede that some of them live in such far flung places as Belgium and Australia, but I believe their wisdom counts as well.  In future, I will restrict petitions to the State of Connecticut since primarily the views of our own citizens are what counts.  However, I believe that common sense and the many CT citizens who did sign this petition indicate that such a provision requiring Parental Responsibility Plans right from the start of a divorce should be put into place.
I would be interested in hearing your perspective on this issue.  It would be valuable to know if others whose opinions you respect have expressed this concern or if the CT Judicial Branch shares some of these concerns as well. Does my solution make sense to you?  I have been unsure whether i should approach the CT Judicial Branch, or my representatives, but just in case I thought I’d approach you first and get your feedback. If you have any suggestions for how I could proceed further, or insights that could assist me in crafting this idea more effectively, I would highly appreciate hearing your thoughts.  Thank you very much for your time.


Elizabeth A. Richter, Manager
Divorce in Connecticut Website
P.O. Box 5 * Canton, CT  06019 * 860-751-4668


Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers
Rep. Minnie Gonzalez
Rep. William Tong
Sen. Paul Doyle
Sen. Ed Gomes
Sen. John A. Kissel
Rep. Prasad Srinivasan
Sen. Mae Flexor
Karen Jarmoc, CCADV
Catharine Bailey, CWEALF