Marriage separates partners, but what does it do to the children? Whenever a couple has a divorce that involves children, child custody decisions can often be a difficult task to manage. Having an experienced and trusted attorney who is well versed in Connecticut child custody law fighting on your side is important. Divorce Attorney Susan T. Perkins can help you walk out of court with the custody that ensures the happiness and welfare of both you and your child.
Connecticut Child Custody
Connecticut child custody law makes provisions for three kinds of custody: sole custody, joint custody, and third party custody. Furthermore, the law separates joint and sole custody into two divisions: legal custody and physical custody. The major guideline for each of these is protecting the child’s happiness and welfare. Here is a rundown on what these mean for separating parents in Connecticut.
Sole Physical Custody
If one parent is deemed unfit, Connecticut child custody laws may provide one parent with sole physical custody. This means that a child lives entirely with one parent. The other parent may get visitation rights that the judge sees reasonable. The everyday care and living situation of the child is the duty of one parent. The parents must come up with a visitation schedule in this situation. The judge must agree to this schedule. There are many kinds of schedules parents can agree to set for the child. Often, this schedule looks like one night of dinner a week and a longer visit every other weekend. These days, courts recognize several different plans for visitation. A judge will approve the options that best suit the welfare of the child.
Joint Physical Custody
Under joint physical custody, children spend a split amount of time at the residence of each parent. There are many ways this can work out, however, it’s very hard to have an exact fifty-fifty split. An experienced lawyer can help you make sure the judge agrees on a settlement that works best for your children and you. In addition to agreeing on time shared, parents have to submit an implementation plan to the court that shows how the joint physical custody will support child’s happiness and welfare.
Sole Legal Custody
A single parent can make independent decisions for a child with sole legal custody. What this means is one parent does not need to get agreement from the other parent to choose things for the child. This parent can make choices that include all decisions that affect the welfare of the child: healthcare, religion, education, etc.
Joint Legal Custody
Joint legal custody means that both parents obtain the same rights for the choices made for the child. These choices include the important factors of education and healthcare, etc. but also things like where the child will have art classes and so on. When parents file for divorce, the court gives both parents joint legal custody. According to Connecticut child custody laws, the court must deem one parent as unfit to award sole custody. It will do this if one of the parents poses a threat to the happiness or welfare of the child. The divorce proceedings will afterward determine if a temporary joint legal custody will be permanent.
Parents who enter into joint legal custody must provide a judge with a plan for how their joint custody will work. A judge will consider the child’s best interests when deciding to approve the plan. This plan will include things like when and where the child will spend time with which parents. The parents must also account for holidays and vacations when they submit the plan.
Third Party Custody
In some occasions, a Connecticut court may deem both parents unfit for managing the health and welfare of a child. In these rare circumstances, the court appoints another family member to look after the child. This can be a grandparent, a godparent, or another family member who proves to be a good fit for the child. The primary consideration will always be the happiness, health, and welfare of the child.
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Connecticut child custody law mandates that the court must make custody decisions with a child’s happiness and welfare as the primary consideration. If you are thinking about getting a divorce or have recently filed for a divorce, make sure you have legal representation to fight for your rights as a parent. Susan T. Perkins has years of experience making sure parents get a fair deal in court. The happiness and welfare of your child and you is very important. Contact Attorney Susan T. Perkins for a lawyer who will support your fight.