Hartford Child Custody Lawyer

Separating from your partner is never easy, but it can be incredibly challenging if you have a child together. As a parent, you have likely faced many difficult choices regarding your child’s well-being throughout their lifetime. Determining a custody schedule may be one of the most important decisions you make.

Whether you are trying to negotiate a custody agreement with your former partner, or your case has already been filed, the assistance of an experienced family law attorney can be beneficial. A Hartford child custody lawyer can help protect your legal right to a meaningful relationship with your kid.

What Are the Different the Types of Child Custody?

Both legal and physical custody must be determined in every child custody case. It is essential to fully understand the various forms of guardianship and what rights each parent has in any given arrangement.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is a parent’s right to make decisions about religion, medical treatment, educational opportunities, and extracurricular activities for their child. One parent may have ‘sole’ legal custody, which gives them the right to make the final decisions on crucial matters relating to their child. If the parents’ share’ legal guardianship, known as joint custody, both parties must agree on any significant decisions affecting their child.

In Hartford, if one parent has sole legal custody and wants their child to be raised in a particular religious faith, that parent may enroll the child in religious schooling and activities without the other parent’s consent. When parents have joint legal custody, both must agree on the decision before the child can participate. A seasoned attorney in Hartford can explain the essential differences between sole and joint legal child custody.

Physical Custody

Physical custody determines where a child lives on a day-to-day basis. If a minor lives primarily with one parent, that parent is said to have ‘primary physical custody’ of the child, and the other parent has visitation. Alternatively, both parties may have shared physical custody, resulting in the child having almost equal time with each parent. Although Connecticut courts generally prefer shared custody, primary custody may be awarded to one parent if it is in the child’s best interests.

Drafting a Parenting Plan Based on the Child’s Best Interests

In any custody dispute, Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56a states that the parents must file a proposed parental responsibility plan that includes:

  • A yearly schedule of the child’s physical residence
  • Allocation of decision-making responsibility to one or both parents regarding the child’s health, education, and religious upbringing
  • Provisions for resolving future parental disputes, including the involvement of mental health professionals when appropriate
  • Requirements for addressing either party’s failure to fulfill their responsibilities under the plan
  • Provisions for the child’s changing needs as they grow and mature
  • Conditions to minimizing the child’s exposure to harmful parental conflict

A state court will review each parent’s proposed plan, determine which one best meets the child’s needs, and issue a final custody order incorporating that plan.

Factors the Courts Court will Consider when Issuing a Custody Order

The courts’ standard for evaluating custody is determining what is in the best interest of the child. Under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56c, the factors that may influence a court’s decision include:

  • The child’s emotional and physical needs
  • The child’s preference if mature enough to express an opinion
  • The parents’ capacity to understand and meet the child’s needs
  • The child’s relationship with the parents and any siblings
  • Each parent’s willingness to facilitate a close relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Each parent’s ability to be actively involved in the child’s life

An experienced lawyer in Hartford can assess these factors and help a parent determine what legal and physical custody arrangement best serves their child’s needs.

Consult a Hartford Child Custody Attorney Today

If you choose to handle your custody dispute on your own, the court may rule in the other party’s favor. This could have a lifelong impact on both you and your child.

However, an experienced attorney can guide you through the process of establishing your custodial rights and protecting your child’s best interests. Contact our firm today and talk with a Hartford child custody lawyer about your case.

Connecticut Family Lawyer | CT Family Law | Dolan Family Attorneys N/a
100 Pearl St Suite 1454 Hartford CT 06103 (860) 850-2702