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How to Approach Divorce in Families with Special Needs Children

January 21, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Friday January 21, 2022

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm


via ZOOM



An inter-disciplinary panel of professionals will share their insights to foster your understanding of families with special needs children. Having a better appreciation of these families’ unique situations, their stresses, and their financial burdens will help you to help them navigate the divorce process.




Jennifer Hagelston, New Haven – LCSW, Individual and Family Psychotherapy in Private Practice. Psychotherapist experienced in work with families with special needs children or adults.
Kathleen Hayes, Glastonbury – Attorney / Owner at The Law Office of Kathleen D. Hayes, LLC. Estate lawyer who will share insights on special needs trusts.
Edward Bryan, Hartford – Attorney at Brown Paindiris & Scott, LLP.
Family lawyer who will share his experience on how to handle cases like this.

Speakers’ Bios:

Jennifer Hagelston:

A licensed clinical social worker and practicing psychotherapist for nearly 25 years, Jennifer Hagelston graduated from Dartmouth College prior to obtaining her Master in Social Work at Simmons College. Jennifer worked with children identified as requiring special education services at Wediko Children’s Services in Boston, MA for 10 years. Upon her move to Connecticut, she worked with adolescents at Stonington Institute with mental health and substance abuse issues who attended cluster schools for their special Educational needs. Jennifer currently runs a crisis service through Yale University and Communicare Inc., servicing thousands of adults and children in crisis each year. In addition, Jennifer also has her own private practice in New Haven, CT.

Kathleen Hayes:


Kathleen D. Hayes is the Owner and principal Attorney of The Law Office of Kathleen D. Hayes, LLC, located in Glastonbury, CT. Kathleen’s practice is founded upon a platform of educating and empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Kathleen guides clients on the eligibility rules for public benefit programs, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income; prepares estate planning documents; and prepares and administers special needs trusts.

Kathleen graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University in 2013. Upon graduating, she served as a judicial law clerk for Justice David Borden and Judge Thomas West of the Connecticut Appellate Court. Kathleen subsequently worked as a special education attorney, prior to concentrating her practice on elder law and special needs planning. She is on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Connecticut and the Connecticut Family Support Network. Kathleen also serves as Chair of the North Regional Advisory Counsel for the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services, and is the Treasurer of the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. Outside the office, Kathleen is an avid volunteer with the Middletown Special Olympics team.

Edward Bryan:


Attorney Bryan’s practice focuses on all aspects of Family/Matrimonial Law and Special Education Law.

His Family/Matrimonial Law litigation practice includes, but is not limited to, divorce, child custody, child support, post-divorce modifications and judgment enforcement, and grandparent and third-party rights. He advocates and fights for his client’s rights in the courtroom. He also assist clients in negotiating, preparation, enforcement and litigation related to premarital and postnuptial agreements.

Attorney Bryan takes his non-adversarial divorce/family law practice very seriously. He is on the CCND Professional Development Committee, and is a member of the Collaborative Divorce Lawyers Association of Greater Hartford and the Connecticut Collaborative Divorce Group. He believes that, when possible, parties should try to resolve their differences outside of the courtroom. To help clients do this, he is a trained divorce/family law mediator and a trained Collaborative Divorce attorney/practitioner. In divorce and family mediation, his role is to facilitate discussions between parties to help them reach agreements. In Collaborative Divorce, he represents individuals who, along with their spouse, pledge to resolve all issues without judicial intervention.

Attorney Bryan’s Special Education Law practices involves helping families navigate the complex laws surrounding Special Education, the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Planning and Placement Team Meetings (PPTs), Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Alternative and Private School Placement, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504s), Disciplinary Hearings and Post-Majority Planning and Support.

He has been listed as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in family law since 2014 and is a member of the Hartford Bar Association and the Connecticut Bar Association.

To insure the integrity of our trainings and other events, CCND reserves the right to eject anyone from any training or event.


January 21, 2022
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category: