Determining the custody of a child is a difficult process for all families. Both parents want what is best for their kids, but ultimately the court has the final say on legal and physical custody. An experienced custody attorney can inform parents of the factors the court will consider when deciding who should have legal authority over their children.
If you are involved in a dispute with the other parent of your minor children, talk to a lawyer about determining child custody in New Haven. Our team can help you develop a strong custody case.
The courts determine both legal and physical custody based on what is in the best interests of the child. Legal custody is the right to make decisions about the child’s wellbeing, whereas physical custody determines where the child will reside. Typically, courts maintain that it is beneficial for children to have both parents in their lives, though certain factors may influence their ruling, such as:
After examining the relevant evidence, the court decides whether to award sole legal custody to one parent or joint legal custody to both parties, and whether one parent should have primary physical custody and the other parent visitation or if both parents should equally share physical custody. A local attorney can inform parents of how their current circumstances may affect a child custody ruling.
Child custody orders are adjustable, though there must be a substantial change in circumstances to warrant a modification to existing custody orders. The party requesting the change will need to provide evidence demonstrating these changed circumstances and show that a change to the previous order would be in the best interest of the child. A skilled child custody lawyer can help parents determine if they have a valid case for modifying the court custody order.
When two parties can collaborate on a visitation schedule, they may draft the plan and present it to the court for approval. Once it is approved, the visitation schedule can be somewhat flexible if both parents agree to the changes.
If there is a dispute, however, the court may order a specific visitation schedule to protect the rights of the non-custodial parent. The court will take schooling and other commitments into consideration when making this decision.
After the judge makes their ruling, a parent can file a post-judgment motion to modify visitation if a change in circumstances arises. A lawyer can work with a parent to advocate for their rights to visitation.
There are many things to take into account when deciding to dispute custody. Custody disputes with divorcing spouses often prolong court proceedings, especially if the parties need to bring in mental health experts or a guardian ad litem to present evidence.
It is also important to note that in cases of 50-50 shared physical custody of the child, the higher-earning party may be obligated to pay child support to the other parent. An attorney can inform parents of other important things to consider when determining custody.
If you are disputing custody with your child’s other parent, it is best to retain a seasoned family attorney. A lawyer can guide you through the process of determining child custody in New Haven.
Our team is familiar with the relevant state law and can help you identify and present that which you believe is in the best interest of your child. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can support you throughout your custody case.