If you do not have primary custody of your child, your ability to maintain a meaningful relationship with them might be of concern. Fortunately, Connecticut law permits noncustodial parents to seek visitation with their children, subject to the discretion of a family court judge.
A seasoned Guilford visitation lawyer can assist you if you need to establish court-ordered contact with your child. A compassionate child custody attorney will advocate for your right to have quality time with your child regardless of your relationship status with the other parent.
Guilford parents can exercise two types of child custody: legal and physical. A parent with sole legal custody decides major issues relating to their children, such as education and medical care. When a child resides with one parent most of the time, that parent is said to have primary physical custody.
Many families utilize joint custody agreements where both parents share time with their children and participate in decision-making. In cases where shared custody is not appropriate, the noncustodial parent has the right to court-ordered visitation, also referred to as parenting time.
Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56(c) mandates family court judges to consider a parenting schedule that is in a child’s best interests when determining visitation. To do so, the court will assess factors like the child’s relationship with each parent, the parents’ ability to cooperate with each other, and, when appropriate, the child’s preference regarding time with the noncustodial parent. A skilled attorney in Guilford is well-versed in the statutory factors determining visitation and can help a parent develop a reasonable parenting plan based on their circumstances.
A parent may raise concerns about the other parent’s ability to safely care for the child in certain situations. For instance, a parent may neglect to properly supervise the child during visitation or use drugs or alcohol while in the child’s presence. With the help of a seasoned lawyer, a Guilford parent can petition the court for supervised visitation to protect the child from likely harm.
If a judge orders supervised visitation, a third-party facilitator would monitor the contact between the restricted parent and the child. A court may also require the parenting time to occur in a designated center monitored by security personnel. Generally, supervised visitation is temporary with the expectation that the parent will address the concerns and eventually resume a regular visitation schedule.
The U.S. Supreme Court case Troxel v. Granville solidified a parent’s right to determine what is best for their children, including who has contact with them. However, Connecticut law does permit grandparents, stepparents, and other third parties to seek court-ordered visitation under specific circumstances.
To gain visitation, a grandparent or third party must demonstrate to the court that they have a parent-like relationship with the child, and that denying visitation would significantly harm the child. When considering a visitation request, a family court also assesses the impact of the court-ordered time on the child’s relationship with their parents. A local lawyer experienced in familial issues can build a compelling case for contact between a child and a person they have a close relationship with.
Research has consistently shown that children benefit by having meaningful contact with both parents. A child may also benefit from contact with a beloved grandparent or other caregiver.
If you are a non-parent seeking court-mandated time with a child following a divorce, separation, or another life event, a trusted Guilford visitation lawyer can help protect your rights. You can be confident that a dedicated member of our legal team will aggressively advocate in family court on your behalf. Call us today to set up your consultation.