Divorce records on file in Stamford Superior Court show the parents
of suspected Sandy Hook school shooter Adam Lanza had joint custody of their
son and that Lanza's father paid alimony that kept him and his mother
Nancy and Peter Lanza's divorce was finalized in September 2009 when Adam was 17. He turned 18 the following April.
Peter Lanza paid Nancy yearly alimony totaling $240,000 in 2010, $265,000 in 2011 and $289,800 in 2012, records indicate. The couple cited irreconcilable differences.
Adam Lanza's primary residence was with his mother, according to the divorce decree. They lived in a Newtown home that Peter Lanza quitclaimed to Nancy. Peter was solely responsible for the cost of college for Adam and brother Ryan. He also was responsible for buying Adam a car.
They completed parenting education classes, which are typically required of parents going through a divorce. The couple also agreed to split a nine-game season ticket package for Boston Red Sox games.
"Nancy Lanza in our dealings with her was always courteous and polite," the law firm Piazza, Simmons & Grant said in a prepared statement. "She was an intelligent woman who we were pleased to represent. We extend our deeply heartfelt sympathy and sorrow for all the families which have been impacted by the tragic events of the past several days." It declined additional comment.
Details of Nancy Lanza's life have emerged after Friday's shooting.
Two or three nights a week, Nancy Lanza came in to the My Place bar in Newtown for carryout salads, but stayed for Chardonnay and good humor. The divorced mother of two -- still smooth-skinned and ash blond at 52 -- clearly didn't have to work, but was always glad to share talk of her beloved Red Sox, gardening and a growing enthusiasm for target shooting.
But while Lanza spoke proudly about her sons and brought them in for breakfast when they were younger, friends say she held one card very close: home life, especially its trials and setbacks, was off limits.
Now, the secrets Lanza kept are at the center of the questions that envelop Newtown, grieving over the slaughter unleashed by her 20-year-old son, Adam, who investigators say killed his mother Friday with one of her own guns before killing 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"Her family life was her family life when we were together. She kept it private. That was her own thing," said Louise Tambascio, who runs the warmly lit pizzeria and bar with her own sons, and became a shopping and dining companion of Nancy Lanza's.
Friends had met Lanza's younger son, who stared down at the floor and didn't speak when she brought him in. They knew he'd switched schools more than once and that she'd tried home-schooling him. But while she occasionally expressed concern about his future during evenings at the bar, she never complained about anything at all.
"I heard her as a parent. I always said that I wouldn't want to be in her shoes. But I thought, 'Wow. She holds it well,'" said Tambascio's son John.
Despite those challenges, the trappings of Lanza's life in Newtown were comfortable. When she and then-husband Peter Lanza moved to the town in 1998 from southern New Hampshire, they bought a new colonial on more than 2 acres
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