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Losing Child Custody in New Haven

Mothers and fathers have the same rights to their children in Connecticut. To file for custody, a father must have paternity established if they are not already on the birth certificate or married to the mother at the time the child is born. However, custody will be determined based on the best interests of the child rather than giving preference to one parent or the other.

Although both parents have rights to legal custody over their child, the court will generally give physical custody to the primary caregiver of the child. Once a court-ordered parenting schedule is in place, there must be a substantial change in circumstances to take custody away from one parent. If your parenting abilities are called into question, or if you believe your co-parent is endangering your child, consult an experienced attorney at our firm about losing child custody in New Haven.

How Could a Parent Lose Custody of their Child?

Assuming that custody is already determined, there must be evidence that a parent is not properly caring for their child for a change in custodial status. If the child’s well-being is at risk, the court could take legal or physical custody away from the parent in question.

In cases with no established custody orders, a child could be primarily residing with one parent, or both if the parties were married. Again, the process of taking custody away from one parent involves presenting evidence to a court to show that doing so is in the best interest of the child.

If a party suspects that their child’s other parent is not providing proper care, a well-practiced attorney could help demonstrate that the parent’s legal and physical custody is detrimental to the child. Alternatively, legal counsel could defend a party’s parental rights in a New Haven child custody case.

Losing Legal vs. Physical Custody

Determinations for legal and physical custody both aim to uphold the best interests of the child. In order for either to be taken away, there must be evidence that this standard has been violated.

Loss of Legal Custody

In order for legal custody to be taken away, there needs to be evidence showing that a party is essentially unfit to make major life decisions for the child. Legal custody could be taken away for the following reasons:

  • Drug abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Any kind of criminal behavior that endangers the safety of the child
  • Evidence showing the parent’s lack of judgment in keeping their child safe

Change in Physical Custody

Similar to legal custody, changing physical custody requires evidence that having the child primarily reside with the other parent is in their best interests. If the party with primary physical custody fails to care for the child on a day-to-day basis, or if their residence is not appropriate for the child, the other party and their attorney can petition for a change in the parenting arrangement. The same standards apply for a party seeking to have visitation rights taken away from their child’s other parent.

What Happens if a Parent Loses Custody?

In a family court case, one party may seek to disqualify the custodial rights of their co-parent. If the co-parent is deemed unfit, and there is no other evidence to show that the petitioning party is also unfit, they can be awarded custody. In New Haven court cases involving the disqualification of custodial rights, legal counsel can be crucial to achieving the desired outcome for either side.

Ask an Attorney about Losing Child Custody in New Haven

If you wish to protect your child and your parental rights, retain a skilled lawyer to answer your questions about losing child custody in New Haven. Our legal team often works with third-party experts who can evaluate and provide recommendations on your child’s well-being. Call today to learn how our attorneys can advocate for your interests.

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