Child custody matters are often the most contested and controversial issues that arise after a marriage or long-term romantic partnership breaks down. When parents agree on a child custody arrangement, either through negotiations between both parents or a court order, and someone fails to live up to this arrangement, legal action may be necessary.
A Milford child custody enforcement lawyer can handle the legal complexities involved in pursuing enforcement of court orders on your behalf. Whether you are dealing with a co-parent who is trying to block access to your child, failing to adhere to their side of the custody agreement by not showing up for their allotted parenting time, or otherwise, a seasoned attorney can put the best interests of your child and your parental rights first.
Connecticut recognizes two main types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody indicates a parent’s ability to make decisions that directly impact their children’s well-being and life trajectory, such as where they receive medical care, the school they go to, and the religion they practice. Physical custody indicates who the child physically resides with following a divorce or separation of their parents.
While many factors can inform the final child custody agreement, the child’s best interests will always be the critical determinant. Commonly, parents may share physical and legal custody. In some cases, a court may determine the child’s best interests are best served by awarding sole physical or legal custody to one parent. When one parent is the primary custodial parent, the other parent will typically have visitation privileges unless allowing such access presents a risk of harm to the child.
Determining what is in the best interests of the child involves balancing a number of factors. Courts may consider the preferences of the child, the interpersonal connection the child has with each parent, specific needs the child may have, and the nature of the living environment each parent can provide. A Milford attorney can help with all matters of child custody, including circumstances where enforcement of an existing order becomes necessary.
A parent can violate a child custody agreement in many ways. One example is when a parent fails to allow the other parent the previously agreed-upon access to the child. One parent neglecting to show up for their allotted time with the child can also constitute a violation. When a parent does not fulfill or violates their duties under the child custody agreement, it may be necessary for the other parent to pursue enforcement measures to secure their parental rights and the best interests of the children involved.
When the breaching parent does not agree to work out the disagreement in a negotiation setting, a common approach is to file a motion for contempt. When the court determines the parent is in contempt, they may face the loss or reduction of their custodial rights, fines, community service, or in extreme circumstances even jail time. A Milford lawyer can advise the most appropriate next steps in an enforcement action.
Connecticut family courts traditionally favor arrangements where the child retains access and a relationship with both parents. When either parent seeks to interfere with an established child custody agreement, this can lead to legal penalties and even a potential modification to the existing order.
A Milford child custody enforcement lawyer can give you the information you need to make the best decision while ensuring you understand all potential legal options at your disposal. Schedule a consultation today about your child custody plan.