Sarah Stark Oldham

“To provide the utmost level of service, I collaborate with colleagues and financial and psychological experts. I encourage clients to be active members of the team because after all, every decision pertains to their life, their children and their money.”

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Sarah Stark Oldham

Partner
  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Community Involvement

Sally is consistently recognized as one of the top matrimonial attorneys in Connecticut in a variety of peer review surveys.

Sally represents clients in the negotiation and litigation of sophisticated, complex and high-asset family law matters. Her practice includes all areas of family law, including divorce, alimony, child support, and property division. She often analyzes complex financial holdings, closely held businesses, and compensation packages in order to achieve an equitable division of assets and income. Sally helps clients address the financial consequences of divorce while recognizing the psychological impact on those involved.

In addition, Sally has extensive experience resolving, and litigating when necessary, challenging and emotionally charged child custody and relocation disputes. Her seminal advocacy in the case of Ireland v. Ireland redefined the rights of parents and children in relocation disputes.

Sally has lectured on a variety of topics including division of stock options, distributing complex executive compensation packages in divorce, the impact of addiction in custody battles, and the validity of prenuptial agreements in a world where most couples cohabit before marriage. She is also co-author of Connecticut Family Law and Practice, Volumes 7, 8 and 8A, a handbook for lawyers and judges on domestic relations matters in Connecticut.

Prior to practicing law, Sally worked for more than a decade as a psychologist in private practice and as a school psychologist in various Connecticut schools. This experience early in her career affords her certain insights and approaches that differ from those of other matrimonial lawyers.

Sally has been practicing family law with Arnold Rutkin since 1994. From 1988-1994, she practiced at the law firm of Day, Berry and Howard in Stamford, now known as Day Pitney. The practice of law is in Sally’s blood. Her grandfather was a judge, her father was a lawyer in a major New York firm, and one of her sisters, her brother and her daughter are lawyers.

Sally is a private pilot, licensed since 1984. She has two grown children and five grandchildren.

Education
  • University of Connecticut School of Law, cum laude, J.D. - 1988
  • Connecticut Law Review
  • Southern Connecticut State College, magna cum laude, M.S., School Psychology – 1974
  • Wesleyan University, cum laude, B.S. - 1972
  • State of Connecticut Guardian ad Litem/Attorney for Minor Children Training Course, 2012
  • Negotiation Workshop: AAML, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, 2017

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1988
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1989

Associations
Connecticut Bar Association

  • Executive Committee of the Family Law Section, 1993 – present
  • Chair, 2003 – 2004
  • Continuing Legal Education, 2001 – 2002
  • Co-Chair, Post-Majority Support Committee, Family Law Section, 1993 – 1994
  • Fairfield County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Fellow, 2001 – present
  • Chair, National Test Committee, 2005 – 2010
  • President, Connecticut Chapter, 2013 – 2014
  • Co-Chair of the Biennial Seminar, Complex Issues in Family Law, 2005

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation

  • Fellow and Life Member

International Academy of Family Lawyers

  • Fellow, 2009 – present
  • Board of Managers, USA Chapter of International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2007 – 2014

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Top Lists

  • Top 50: 2021 Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • Top 25: 2021 Women Connecticut Super Lawyers
Community Involvement

"Post‑Majority Support: The Statute Explained"
Connecticut Family Lawyer  Fall 1993

"Recent Appellate Developments"
Connecticut Family Lawyer  Spring 1995

"Recent Appellate Decisions"
Connecticut Family Lawyer  Fall 1997

"Evidentiary Issues in Family Law"
Connecticut Bar Association June 1997

"Appeals in Family Cases"
Connecticut Bar Association November 1998

"Division of Stock Options: Wendt v. Wendt"
Connecticut Bar Association February 1998

"Relocation of Minor Children"
Stamford/Norwalk Regional Bar Association January 1998

"Relocation Issues after Ireland v. Ireland"
Connecticut Bar Association September 1999

"Division of Stock Options in Divorce Cases"
Mellon Bank, Hartford, Connecticut May 1999

"Distributing Executive Compensation Benefits"
The Family Advocate, Vol. 23, #3 Winter 2001

"Effective Utilization of Mental Health Professionals
in Family Cases"
Connecticut Bar Association March 2001

"How to Avoid the Pitfalls and Pratfalls of
Dividing Pensions"
Connecticut Bar Association May 2002

"Hot Topics, The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction
and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)"
Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting June 2003

“Inheritances, Gifts & Pre-Marital Assets”
Connecticut Bar Association October 2003

Symposium on Professionalism (moderator)
Regional Bar Association November 2004

“Complex Issues in Family Law Cases” or
“How to Handle Tricky Questions and Sticky Situations”
Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Biennial Seminar 2005

“Examining the Mental Health Expert”
The Family Advocate, Vol. 30, No. 4 Spring 2008

“Psychological Testing in Cases of Disputed Custody”
ABA-APA Conference April 2008

“An Overview of Property Division and Spousal
Support Regimes in the U.S.”

International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Annual Meeting, Queenstown, New Zealand September 2010

“Substance Abuse Issues in Family Law Cases”
Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Advanced Custody Seminar May 2012

“The DSM-5 and Its Practical Application to the Family Lawyer”
Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting  June 2013

“Document Management”
Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Advanced Technology Seminar April 2014

“When Domestic Issues Result in Criminal Cases”
Fairfield County Bar Association Criminal Law Committee Luncheon June 2015

“Alimony Recapture and Family Support”
Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Advanced Financial Issues Seminar April 2016

“Meeting the Best Interests of the Child Standard with New Psychological Research”
Connecticut Bar Association Annual Legal Conference  June 2016