STAMFORD, Conn. — When the parents of Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza divorced, the settlement left his mother with a comfortable income and the comfort of knowing that the boy in her care would have his education paid for and his medical insurance covered.
If there was bitterness and anger between Nancy and Peter Lanza, it is not described in court papers. And there was no mention of any lingering mental health or medical issues for the then-teenage boy, nothing that could even hint at the horror he would unleash three years later.
Adam Lanza shot his mother in the head with a rifle Friday, then headed to Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with her high-power rifle, two handguns and enough ammunition to kill nearly every child in the building, authorities said. He killed 20 students and six adults before police arrived and he shot himself.
The Lanzas married in June 1981 in Kingston, N.H. But the documents show Adam lived his whole life at the home in Newtown where his mother was found dead in her pajamas, on her bed.
Nancy Lanza filed for divorce in 2009 and the documents suggest little argument. The couple agreed to split up their jewelry, clothes and family photos. Adam would live with his mother, the couple agreed, and they agreed to talk about the important decisions.
If it turned out they couldn't agree on something related to Adam's upbringing, Nancy Lanza "shall make the final decision," according to the Sept. 24, 2009, settlement approved by Judge Stanley Novak.
There is nothing in the file that discusses the relationship's underlying problems. The file simply says the marriage "has broken down irretrievably and there is no possibility of getting back together."
Nancy Lanza, received $289,800 in alimony this year. It was to continue until December 2023, with slight increases each year for cost of living.
As part of the divorce, Nancy Lanza was ordered to attend a parenting education program. The provider, Family Centers Inc., certified that she completed the program on June 3 and June 10, 2009. The document says only that Lanza "satisfactorily completed the program."
Authorities pored over computer, cellphone and credit card records trying to piece together the Lanza family's days leading up to the shooting. Peter Lanza, in a statement this weekend, said that like everyone else, he could not comprehend what had unfolded.
"We too are asking why," he said. "We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired."