Protecting What Matters Most
When parents divorce or unmarried parents separate, the most important legal issues they face involve the future care and well-being of the children. At the law firm of Lilburn Law, we handle child custody matters with the utmost care and sensitivity because we understand the lifelong impact of these decisions. We are here to guide you through child custody and other divorce-related issues, protecting your parental rights and the best interests of your children.
Legal And Physical Custody
Legal custody involves decision-making authority over the child’s life, while physical custody refers to where the child actually lives.
In Connecticut, there is a presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of a minor child when the parents have agreed on joint legal custody. Not all parents agree to this, and unfortunately, there are instances when joint legal custody is not in the best interest of the minor child.
When parents cannot communicate and constantly bicker about who shall control the minor children, joint legal custody is not appropriate. A court might be inclined to award sole custody in that circumstance or joint legal custody with final decision-making by only one parent. Along with joint legal custody, there are three possibilities for physical custody:
- Primary physical custody
- Shared physical custody
- Split physical custody
Primary physical custody means that the children spend the majority of their time with one parent. In shared custody, parental access is basically equal although it need not be identical. Split custody is when one or more of the children of the marriage live with one parent and one or more of the children live with the other parent.
What Factors Determine Child Custody In Connecticut?
Under Connecticut law, the courts consider a variety of factors when making determinations in child custody cases. Some of the key factors include:
- The needs and wishes of the child
- The wishes of the parents
- The child’s past relationship with each parent
- Each parent’s ability to care and provide for the child
- Coercive or manipulative behavior of a parent exerted on the child for the purpose of gaining custody rights
- The presence of domestic violence or neglect in the household
When parents cannot come to an agreement on child custody matters, we believe it is best to resolve such disputes in an amicable manner that puts as little strain on the child as possible. When attempts at negotiation or mediation fail, however, and the child’s best interests are at stake, we are always prepared for courtroom litigation.