Modern Divorce: Emerging Family Law Issues, Trends, and Legislation – B04


Family Law Track
Family Law Section and LGBT Section

Session B: 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Get an overview of emerging national trends in family law, the current status of the law in Connecticut, and insights on the possible impact of these trends on Connecticut jurisprudence. We will consider the status of pets and the impact of spouses’ social media use on divorce and other family law actions. 

Learn about the current legislative session, including pending legislation that clusters around child support, domestic violence, and grandparent access.

You will learn: 

  • The status of movement in some states including Alaska and Rhode Island, to amend divorce statutes to classify pets as something other than property, to require judges to take into consideration the well-being of the animal, and to explicitly empower judges to assign joint custody of pets. 
  • The status of the current law in Connecticut, and how practitioners can best counsel clients seeking a more nuanced arrangement when it comes to their pets, such as shared custody, visitation, sharing of pet expenses like food and vet bills, and even monetary support.
  •  How social media effects divorce and family law matters, both with respect to fault and evidentiary issues, and with respect to some states’ growing willingness to accept as service that occurred via social media proper.
  •  National trends on social media as well as Connecticut trial court decisions illuminating these issues, and best practices tips on how to handle the impact of social media in the family law field.

 

Speakers:
Seth Conant
, Freed Marcroft LLC, Hartford

Attorney Conant has focused his entire career as an attorney on family law. To Seth, the most important part of his work is helping families move to the next chapter of their lives efficiently and with dignity while always acknowledging the importance of nurturing their children. He is trained in a variety of alternative dispute resolution models, including mediation and collaborative divorce.

Seth is a frequent presenter on divorce and other family law issues at continuing legal education seminars including the Connecticut Bar Association and the Hartford County Bar Association.  He is a member of the Hartford County, Connecticut Bar Associations, and American Bar Associations, as well as a member of the Collaborative Divorce Lawyers Association of Greater Hartford.

Seth received his BA from Boston College and his JD from Western New England College.  He resides in Windsor, Connecticut with his wife and two children.

 

 
Meghan Freed, Freed Marcroft LLC, Hartford

Meghan practices family law at Freed Marcroft.  She is committed to alternative dispute resolution, and has supplemented her formal legal education with advanced training in collaborative law and mediation as well as through Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation.

In 2013, Meghan was named a Hartford Business Journal 40 Under Forty winner, and a Connecticut Law Tribune New Leader of the Law. She was included on the New England Super Lawyers® Rising Star list in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 for family law.  In 2014 the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) named her one of 40 Women for the Next 40 Years.  Her law firm was voted “Best Law Firm” by the readers of Hartford Magazine in 2015 and 2016, and in 2016 received a Family Business Award from the Hartford Business Journal.

Meghan is also particularly proud of her practice within the LGBT community.  Her name appears in the Connecticut Supreme Court’s groundbreaking decision on marriage equality, Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, for which she co-authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign.  Meghan has appeared on WNPR’s Colin McEnroe Show speaking about the state of divorce – same sex or otherwise – and WNPR’s Where We Live, discussing the impact of the United States Supreme Court’s decisions in the same sex marriage cases, United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry.  She frequently speaks on the legal issues facing same sex couples, including for the Connecticut Bar Association’s annual Connecticut Legal Conference, the New York Times, and to the employees of various Fortune 500 companies.  She is a founding executive board member of the Connecticut Bar Association’s LGBT Section currently serves as its Chair.  In 2015 the National LGBT Bar Association named her one of the nation’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

Meghan is a proud supporter of the arts in Hartford, and devotes the majority of her pro bono legal work to LGBT and arts organizations.  She serves as a Director of the Hartford Country Bar Association, is Chair of the Board of Corporators of the iQuilt Project, and is a member of the Board of Ambassadors for the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

 

CLE Credit: 1.5 Hours (AOP)