Child custody is probably the hardest fought and most emotional issue to arise in a divorce. Although it is understandable that emotions may run high, it is critical to make sensible, rational decisions that will be in the best interest of you and your children now and into the future. The family law attorneys at The Upton Law Firm provide sound, practical advice and assertive, effective advocacy to argue for a child custody determination that meets your needs. From our office in West Hartford, we serve families throughout Connecticut statewide.
Connecticut Child Custody Facts
There are actually two different types of child custody to be decided by the judge in a Connecticut divorce: physical and legal custody. Physical custody is of course where the child lives, and which parent has actual physical possession of the child. Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to the right and responsibility to make decisions that affect the child, such as where the child will go to school, what extra-curricular activities the child will engage in, what religion the child will be reared in, how healthcare and medical decisions are made, etc.
In regards to both physical and legal custody, the court can award sole custody to one parent alone, or joint custody. In joint custody, custody may be shared equally between the parents, or one parent may be deemed the primary custodial parent. The awards of legal and physical custody do not have to match up: one parent can have primary physical custody while both parents share legal custody; or the parents may share physical custody but one parent has sole legal custody; etc.
The guiding force behind every custody determination is what is in the best interests of the child. In a divorce or child custody dispute, the judge will make this determination based on the evidence presented and the arguments made by the parties through their attorneys. Depending upon the age of the child, the judge may consider the wishes of the child as to which parent to live with. The judge may also consider the causes for the divorce if they are relevant to the determination of what custody arrangement would be in the best interests of the child or children.
Grandparents and other family members may be able to achieve legal visitation rights, if they can demonstrate that they have a parent-like relationship with the child, and the child would be harmed if visitation were denied.
Hard-working and Compassionate Legal Help with Connecticut Child Custody Disputes
Get help with your divorce or child custody dispute from a hard-working, compassionate attorney who is dedicated to achieving the best result for you and your children, either through a negotiated settlement, mediation, or litigation as necessary. In Connecticut, contact The Upton Law Firm for a free consultation on your child custody matter.