Under Connecticut law, when individuals get divorced, the courts will consider the best interests of the children to determine questions of custody, visitation, and parenting plans. Parents who are getting divorced may hear a great deal about meeting these standards, but it is important to understand that the standards are open to interpretation, and, in many cases, the judge often has the final say. Because so much can depend on your child custody case, it is often wise to hire a qualified child custody lawyer. The firm of Melocowsky & Melocowsky, works closely with families facing difficult and emotional negotiations.
Under Connecticut’s child custody law, judges will take into account many factors, including:
- The developmental needs of the children involved
- The preferences of the child
- The preferences of the parent
- Parent’s ability to meet the children’s needs
- Child’s home and school needs
- Child’s current residence and continuity of residence and living situation
- Cultural background
- Abuse or neglect of the child
Parents who cannot agree about child custody may have to make their case before a judge. In general, the courts view joint custody arrangements as being in the best interests of the child, unless one parent proves that there is good reason to prevent one parent from having custody. Joint custody refers to both parent’s rights to make decisions for their children. Both parents may have custody, but one parent may have physical custody. Physical custody is distinct from legal custody. Under Connecticut law, judges recognize the rights of both parents to have a role in raising their children. Only in extreme cases, such as when there is abuse or neglect, will courts bar a parent from visiting a child.
According to Psychology Today, the “best interests of the child” standards are often “elusive” or difficult to pin down. Every child is unique and his or her needs will depend largely on individual factors. In general, children benefit immensely from being able to maintain contact with both parents and from being able to maintain strong ties to both parents. While some child custody questions are adversarial due to abuse or other factors, in many cases, parents who work together to develop a co-parenting plan that works, get better outcomes, not only in their divorce, but in the well-being of their children.
Of course, even if your divorce is amicable, having a child custody lawyer in Connecticut can ensure that your parenting plan addresses potential points of conflict in the present and in the future. This includes discussing how children will spend holidays and how children will be transported to and from visitation sessions. You’ll want to make sure that your plan meets all current legal standards. A child custody lawyer in Connecticut can review the best interests of the child standards with you and help you develop a plan that works for your family. Melocowsky & Melocowsky are child custody attorneys in Hartford, Connecticut who offer quality representation to families facing tough child custody decisions. Visit their website at www.melolegal.com.