When raising a child, you will likely face many difficult decisions. Establishing a custody and visitation schedule after separating from your partner can be challenging, but our legal team is prepared to guide you through it.
Whether you wish to begin custody negotiations or contest an existing court order, it is imperative that you seek legal help from a knowledgeable family law attorney. A Guilford child custody lawyer can protect your right to have a relationship with your children and ensure their best interests are considered in any legal decisions.
Custody can refer to many different child-rearing arrangements. It is essential to fully understand the various forms of custody and how each may impact a child’s well-being.
Physical custody determines where the child lives on a daily basis. If the minor lives primarily with one parent, that party is said to have primary physical custody, while the other parent has visitation.
Two parties can also share physical custody, resulting in the child having more time with each parent, even if that time is not entirely equal. For example, under a shared physical custody schedule, the child might spend four nights per week with one parent and three nights per week with the other.
Legal custody is a parent’s right to make decisions regarding significant matters affecting their child, including issues related to health, education, and extracurricular activities. When a parent maintains sole legal authority over a minor, that party can make the final decision on those issues.
If two parties have shared legal guardianship, they must agree on any significant decision impacting their child before enforcing that decision. For example, they would have to agree before allowing their child to undergo elective surgery for a non-life-threatening condition. A local attorney can further explain the key differences between sole and joint legal custody.
The legal standard for evaluating any custody dispute is the best interest of the child. Under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56c, factors that can influence a court’s determination of a child’s best interest can include:
An experienced lawyer can carefully analyze these factors and advise a parent on what type of custodial arrangement would best support the child.
In any dispute concerning guardianship, the parents must file a proposed parental responsibility plan. According to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56a, this document must include:
Each parent can draft a proposed plan for the court to review. The court will then decide which plan serves the child’s best interests and incorporate it into a final judgment. A legal professional familiar with handling child custody disputes can review a parenting plan to determine if it meets the best interest standard.
Custody disputes often have a lifelong impact on everyone involved. It is essential to retain a dedicated attorney to guide you through this complex legal process. Contact a Guilford child custody lawyer today to discuss how our firm can help you resolve your dispute.