Probate race: Families need flexible court hours

By Chris Goulden
As an experienced attorney, I understand that citizens appearing before the probate court often deal with stressful situations such as a loss of a loved one, dealing with the challenges of a loved one’s competency or struggles of a minor child’s guardianship. They often have to take time from their job to deal with these situations. It is imperative for the probate court to understand the needs of its citizens and to provide them with an opportunity to have the assistance of the court on days and at times that are not “usual business hours.”

From the first day of  my candidacy, I have and will continue to advocate for flexibility in the court’s schedule. To that end, I would advocate for evening and weekend hours so that people who work, or  have other daytime responsibilities, can still have access to the court.

Dealing with these types of issues before the probate court is often not easy. There are a number of  questions that seem daunting regarding rights and procedures in the probate court. While judges cannot give legal advice, they can be compassionate. I will establish an outreach clinic program with local attorneys.

As the current President of  the Milford Bar Association, I deal with a great many attorneys who are committed to this community. There are attorneys who have already offered me the generosity of their time in order to accomplish my goal of establishing these clinics for the benefit of  our citizens.

A graduate of Quinnipiac College School of Law, I call Milford my home. My law practice is also in Milford. I have been recognized by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Connecticut as an Attorney Trial Referee, adjudicating cases in court. I have also served in the Statewide Grievance Committee for six years.

In my role as a family practitioner, I work closely with mental health professionals on issues involving children and their families. I serve as a Special Master at the Regional Family Trial Docket in Middletown, brought into help resolve complex custodial issues. I have practiced law for over 27 years in all courts including probate courts throughout the state. My probate experience ranges from representing the interest of estates, to representing children and/or their parents in termination of parental rights matters, adoptions and competency issues. I work closely with the Department of  Children and Family Services.

I have three amazing children. Brooke is a graduate of Lauralton Hall and St. Joseph’s University. Casey is a graduate of  Sacred Heart Academy and a senior at the University of Scranton. Jeremy is a sophomore at Notre Dame High School. He plays hockey for the Milford Southern Stars.

I am a proud member of  the Irish Heritage Society of Milford and assist in raising money for worthy causes such as the VFW Post in Devon.

Change is needed and I am the right choice to make those changes and to be your next probate judge. I kindly ask for your support.