Every family is unique and faces unique issues when marriages are dissolved or circumstances require a new plan for the care of the children.
Family law is a mosaic of complex issues which require multi-disciplinary knowledge and project management skills. Successful resolution requires the assistance of attorneys who possess the training, experience and skills to manage high net worth financial issues, many times in conjunction with the transitioning of the family unit. Multiple extended family members may be affected by a divorce, or change in custody of a child. Creative strategies must be implemented to achieve unique client goals. Colleagues and clients have recognized the stature and commitment of the attorneys at Pullman & Comley.
The Family Law team at Pullman & Comley has designed efficiencies to maximize value of each team member’s participation to meet client goals.
With offices in upper and lower Fairfield County, Hartford, and White Plains and Springfield, Massachusetts, the team can respond effectively statewide and beyond. Team members are trained trial lawyers, skilled negotiators and able mediators, who assist clients in efficient and effective resolution of family law disputes. All members of the team help clients understand the process which will best suit the specific goals of each individual client and matter, respecting the long term interests of transitioning a family.
Our work includes:
- High profile divorce and custody issues
- High net worth divorces
- Child custody and parenting issues
- Complex family matters
- Drafting and litigating prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Litigation, arbitration and mediation
- Appeals to all courts
- Complexities in dissolving same sex marriages and relationships
- Collaborative Divorce
We have a deep bench.
Our team is set apart by the counsel and experience of two retired judges, Retired Appellate Court Judge Anne C. Dranginis and Retired Superior Court Judge Lynda B. Munro, both of whom served as the Chief Administrative Judge for family matters in the State during their respective tenure on the bench. Here, in private practice, they give Pullman a singular edge with their incredible knowledge and understanding of Connecticut Family Law.
Judge Anne Dranginis brings her 45 years of experience in litigation and as a judge of the trial court and the appellate court to consult on strategic goals, efficiently litigate when necessary, and provide mediation/arbitration services which fit a particular case.
Judge Lynda Munro, who had a 20-year career on the Connecticut bench, leads our work in alternate dispute resolution, mediating and arbitrating a wide range of cases. She also regularly consults on trial strategy, an invaluable tool for our team.
Our Family Law Practice Group is led by Attorney Campbell Barrett who is the current President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He tries cases across the state and has successfully argued significant family law cases of first impression in Connecticut’s Supreme and Appellate Courts.
Attorney Livia DeFilippis Barndollar is a nationally recognized and accomplished divorce attorney, handling the most complex and high net worth cases. Her representation is the gold standard, achieving advantageous outcomes for clients at trial and through settlement, built on her knowledge of the law and her keen understanding of her clients’ cases and objectives.
Attorney Jon Kukucka is a creative advocate who likes a challenge. He is the lawyer you want in your corner when settlement isn’t possible.
Attorney Kelly Scott recently joined us after five years at a family law boutique firm and work at Connecticut’s Regional Family Trial Docket. She ably counsels clients through the court process, firmly negotiates to her client’s advantage and succinctly presents and argues those matters that require judicial resolution.
Attorney Nicole Riel brings a wealth of research and writing skills having completed a year-long clerkship with the Connecticut Appellate Court and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Quinnipiac Probate Law Journal
Pullman & Comley’s Family Law team has consistently been recognized by legal industry rankings, including Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers “Rising Stars,” Connecticut Law Tribune’s “New Leaders in the Law” and ”Best Family Law Group”, and the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys “Connecticut’s Ten Best.” These honors serve as recognition of the diligent and scholarly work that the group does on behalf of its clients.
The Pullman & Comley Family Law team is selected by clients throughout the state because of our attorneys' mastery of the complexity of property distribution and asset valuation. We frequently represent high net worth individuals in high profile litigated matters as well as those in which clients seek privacy, discretion and anonymity. The Family Law practice has significant experience in handling these matters as they arise in the continuum of pre-divorce, the divorce and post-divorce.
A leader in the LGBTQ community, Pullman & Comley is proud of the depth of experience of our Family Law practice in representation of clients in marital and non-marital same-sex relationships.
Our attorneys lecture widely, and have authored various chapters and articles in treatises in the field.
Our Appellate Family lawyers established new family law precedents in the Connecticut Supreme Court, and have been involved in some of the most significant cases shaping the Family Law landscape, including:
- Lump sum alimony award does not constitute impermissible property distribution under terms of prenuptial agreement. Hornung v. Hornung, 323 Conn. 144 (2016).
- Custodial parents may obtain an upward modification of child support based on an increase in the non-custodial parent’s income. McKeon v. Lennon, 321 Conn. 323 (2016).
- The parameters for child support in high income cases. Dowling v. Szymczak, 309 Conn. 390 (2013).
- The recognition of postnuptial agreements in the state. Bedrick v. Bedrick, 300 Conn. 691 (2011).
- The operative definition of property for the equitable distribution of assets. Mickey v. Mickey, 292 Conn. 597 (2009).
- The legal test for the modification of alimony based on a claim of cohabitation. Gervais v. Gervais, 91 Conn. App. 840 (2005).
- The permissible use of capital gains in alimony modification cases. Gay v. Gay, 266 Conn. 641 (2003).
Because the practice of family law encompasses a wide-range of interdisciplinary fields of law, our family law clients benefit from Pullman & Comley’s extensive knowledge and experience in the related areas of real estate, tax planning, trust and estates planning, corporate law and bankruptcy.
News & Insights
- Retired Judge Anne Dranginis Discusses Her Distinguished Legal Career with the Connecticut Law TribuneThe Connecticut Law Tribune, 05.09.2021
- Greenwich, New Canaan/Darien + Rowayton, Stamford, Westport and At Home Magazines, 03.2021
- GoodHousekeeping.com, 06.02.2020
- Westport Lifestyle, 05.2020
- Campbell Barrett Appears on FOX 61 News to Discuss Cooperative Co-Parenting Strategies During the PandemicFox 61, 04.28.2020
- Norwalk Hour, 04.02.2020
- Record Journal, 09.28.2019
- Campbell D. Barrett and David P. Atkins to Speak to Forensic Accountants on Testifying as an Expert Witness04.30.2021
- Judge Lynda B. Munro (Ret.) Speaks to ABA Symposium about Family Law During COVID-19: Challenges, Adaptations and Future Impacts04.08.2021
- Zoom, 10.13.2020
- Connecticut Convention Center, 09.14.2020
- Zoom Webinar, 08.04.2020
- Family Law Quarterly, Volume 54, No. 3, 2020, 07.01.2021
- Family Advocate, Spring 2021
- Connecticut Rules Committee Suspends Time Requirements Concerning Custody and Visitation for Minor Children03.26.2020
Pullman's Family Law Practice remains at the leading edge of Connecticut matrimonial law, regularly litigating, mediating, arbitrating, and defending and prosecuting appeals involving the most complex financial and child custody related dissolutions of marriage actions in the state.
The Connecticut Supreme Court heard only four family law cases in 2016. Of those cases, Pullman & Comley’s Family Law attorneys argued, and were victorious, in two.
COVID-19's Impact on Alimony and Child Support Orders
COVID-19's Impact on Alimony and Child Support Orders
The world has changed in the past two weeks. The support agreement you negotiated in 2018 or 2019 may be in jeopardy. With the economy in a state of turmoil, the coronavirus already has impacted many people’s weekly earnings. With the court closures, many family law practitioners have sought guidance from the Superior Court on the steps that can be taken now to preserve a claim for the retroactive application of child support and alimony modifications. Are these requests the harbinger of a coming deluge of post-judgment motions seeking alimony and child support modifications? Time will tell.
Alimony and child support modifications are not guaranteed—even where there has been a job loss or income disruption. In certain circumstances, the Superior Court may base a support payment on an “earning capacity” as opposed to that person’s actual earnings. For business owners subject to support orders, modification proceedings can be particularly complex. In many of these cases, expert witnesses can be successfully utilized to establish or contest a claimed decrease in a business owner’s compensation. We work closely with our clients and have access to the region’s most trusted forensic accounting and valuation experts.
Our experienced team of family law attorneys remain available to discuss your specific circumstances. Our Family Law Group includes top trial and appellate lawyers, two retired judges and collaboratively trained attorneys. For each family there is a tailored approach. We are on the other end of a phone call, an email, or Zoom conference to help you figure out where to go from here. While the courts are all but shut down, we are working on creative solutions and planning to position each of our clients as advantageously as possible. We will talk to you about the implications of job loss, portfolio diminution and parenting apart in this challenging world.
During these difficult times, the Family Law Group at Pullman & Comley is uniquely situated. We have on-demand access to our entire firm’s reach and depth. Our partners at Pullman & Comley are labor and employment, commercial, trust and estates and—yes—bankruptcy attorneys, tax attorneys and more. If you or your business needs advice, we are available to discuss all the available options. With the Superior Court unavailable to help resolve all but the most emergent of issues, our ADR group also remains ready to help you or your business with any disputes that arise.
Pullman & Comley attorneys have been closely monitoring the many developing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for businesses and for professionals, including law firms. We have been responding, and will continue to respond, to a wide range of risk management questions. The firm’s FOCUS page for the latest COVID-19 advisories may be found here.