Connecticut has a statute which provide for treble damages for theft (triple damages of the amount stolen)

Sec. 52-564. Treble damages for theft. Any person who steals any property of another, or knowingly receives and conceals stolen property, shall pay the owner treble his damages.

Several things to note

  1.  The statute talks about theft of “property,” so it applies to any property, not just “money.”
  2. In order to get treble damages, there needs to be proof of “theft” which is the same as larceny.   This requires an improper intent to take property of another person.   This is more than improper belief about property ownership which is in dispute.


If you or someone you have any questions, please feel free to contact Attorney Singer

Robert M. Singer, Attorney at Law

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518


   Serving all of Connecticut


In divorces, there are two main issues – children and money.  With the children, the issues center around physical custody and legal custody (decision making). 


A prenuptial agreement is entered into prior to marriage, or civil union, to handle property division and spousal support, in the event of divorce.  Notice that the agreement needs to be prepared and signed, prior to the marriage or union. 

              The laws of each state are different.  However, there are similar requirement in every state.  In general, the agreement must be

1.       In writing

2.       Signed by both parties, and witnessed

3.       Signed voluntarily

4.       Full disclosure at time of signature

5.       Not be unconscionable

 Anyone seeking to have an enforceable agreement would be wise to use a local divorce attorney.  Each party should be represented by separate attorneys.    Both parties need to provide all of their financial information to the other party, well in advance of signing the agreement.  (Unconscionable in general means that the agreement cannot be so unfair that the court won’t enforce the agreement). 


                                Getting divorced without assets is relatively easy.   Once there is property, many issues can arise.  I will take up the issue in numerical order

a.        Taxes

1.        Your tax status depends on whether or not you are married at the end of the year.  First thing to address is the responsibility of each party in the event that there are any outstanding taxes from prior years.   The tax liability can be split equally, or in any other Percentage.  (i.e. 60%/40%, or based on income).

2.        In the event that there is children, the divorce agreement needs to address who will get the tax deduction for the child(ren) each year.   The tax deduction can be alternated, by agreement of the parties.

b.       Child Support – In many states, such as Connecticut, child support is given to the custodial parents based on “guidelines.”  Most judges do not deviate from the guidelines.  

c.       Alimony – There is no easy way to determine the amount of alimony.  In many states, there are many factors which are considered in determining the amount of alimony, including the fault of the party or parties, and the length of the marriage.  Under state law, a judge may be allowed to consider the fault of a party in determining the amount of alimony to award, although the parties have a right to a no fault divorce (there is no fault for granting the divorce). 

                                With regard to alimony, you need to consider the amount to be given, the time frame in which it will be paid, and the events at which it will terminate (typically marriage or cohabitation of the person receiving the alimony. 

d.      Pensions – This is often one of the largest assets in the marital estate.  The parties need to agree if and how a pension or retirement plan will be split, or a Judge will need to make a decision for the parties. 

Note that there are special orders which need to be prepared and signed by a Judge, for a tax free transfer of retirement assets from one party to another, in the form of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.   The pay I remember the term QDRO is

Qualified Retirement Plan

Domestic Relations- Related to Domestic Matters or Divorce

Order of the Court

e.      Personal Property – the small stuff is not always so small.  In my opinion, it is better to split up all of the personal property, prior to getting the divorce agreement completed.  Put into the agreement that the parties have “already agreed to split up the personal property.”  It is simply too costly to fight over the small stuff.  I include in personal property the following:  jewelry, household items and collectibles

f.         Life Insurance – consider how much insurance one party needs, if the ex-spouse is no longer alive.  Often, this is made a part of the divorce decree.

g.       Real Estate – since the market crash, many residences have a mortgage which is more than the value of the property.  If this is the case, it may be wise for both parties to file for bankruptcy, prior to the divorce being completed, thereby eliminating the property and the debt as well.   The person who intends to keep the property should be very wary of signing a hold harmless agreement, which agrees to indemnify the other spouse in the event that the mortgage is not paid (indemnify means to be responsible for the other spouses losses, if the mortgage company goes after the party).  The hold harmless clause can prevent the property owner from getting out of the mortgage debt, in a bankruptcy filing. 

                                For people with equity in the property, the parties will need to agree on how to split the equity.  Before 2006, it was relatively easy to get a mortgage, and thereby do a cash out refinancing, take money out the property through a mortgage to pay off the spouse who doesn’t want the house.  I have seen very few cash outs lately.  

h.       Stocks/Bonds and other investments need to be split among the parties. 

i.         Business Interests are difficult to split.  I have found it helpful to get a business appraisal done to determine the value of the spouse owners interest.  Then agree on an amount to be paid for the business interest. 

With all that has been said, I have never seen a divorce which has not significantly affected the lifestyle of both the former husband and wife.  Divorce has a devastating effect on all parties involved.  Unless both parties are rich, there is no fair way to split the assets or the income of the parties.  The rent and utilities for a second household can easily exceed $2,000 per month, more than the child support and alimony combined.

If you or someone you have any questions, please feel free to contact Attorney Singer

Robert M. Singer, Attorney at Law

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518


   Serving all of Connecticut




Airplane Accidents

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Bus Accidents

Burn Injuries.

Car Accidents

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Dangerous Roadway Cases

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Train Accidents

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If you or someone you know has been injured, please feel free to contact Attorney Singer

Robert M. Singer, Attorney at Law

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518


   Serving all of Connecticut


According to the U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services

          Persons 65 years or older numbered 46.2 million in 2014. They represented 14.5% of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice the number in 2014. People 65+ represented 14.5% of the population in the year 2014 but are expected to grow to be 21.7% of the population by 2040.

Many children are caring for their aging parents. There are many services available for this care.   Children may be able to choose home care, if a parent is somewhat self-sufficient.

In other situations, one needs to find an assisted living center or nursing home care, depending on a senior’s capabilities.  Nursing homes provide a high level of personal and nursing care, particularly for the elderly, sick and disabled.   The high level of personal service is necessary for people who have become unable to care for themselves.

Unfortunately, there are nursing facilities where staff abuse or neglect their patients. For example, a nursing home patient may be given the wrong medication by mistake, or a patient may fall down because of the carelessness of staff.

If you know an elderly person or anyone else who is staying at a nursing home, here are a things that might indicate that he or she is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect:

  • Scars
  • Excessive bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Bed sores
  • Pressure sores
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Unexpected Hospitalization

Contact us right away if you think that your loved one or friend is a victim of nursing home abuse or negligence. We will look into the situation right away, take the steps necessary to remedy these unsafe circumstances, and start the process of recovering compensation for your injured loved one

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518



Brokerage firms put in customer agreements that any dispute between the brokerage firm or broker must be resolved by arbitration, rather than in court.   In effect, a customer having a problem with a broker is precluded from bringing a claim to court.

The claim can involve investments in a variety of forms including common stocks, bonds, mutual funds, REITs and annuities.

The legal basis for the claims include negligence, fraud, breech of contract, omission of facts (concealing material information concerning the investment), unauthorized trading and churning.

Not surprisingly, the number of claims filed can change based on market conditions.   This blog is being written in 2017, when there has been a drop in FINRA claims filed, probably due to the long term bull market.

I have looked at a chart of Dow to GDP ratio.   What the chart shows is that we are now at approximately 100%. In July of 1982 the same ratio was 25%.  In March 2009, the ratio was 53%.   Clearly, this bull market has at least been driven by market fascination, rather than fundamentals.   .

Interestingly, the S & P 500 PE ratio is now approximately 25, from about 13 in September 2011.    Prices are going up, in spite of a lag in earnings growth.

Some analysts have suggested that stocks are overvalued and expect a decline.   Investors should properly balance their portfolio to consider how much risk there is in the stock and bond market.

Unfortunately, there is also a risk with owning bonds, particularly in an environment in which interest rates are rising.   If the economy softens further, there is a risk of significant losses from the junk bond market.  If rate rates rise, there is a risk of a large losses in value of bonds, particularly bonds have a longer term maturity (price decline of bonds, as rates increase).

If you believe you may have a claim against a broker, please feel free to contact me at

Robert M. Singer, Atty at Law

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518