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Child Custody in Connecticut

Familiarize Yourself with Connecticut Child Custody Laws

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By law, a Connecticut family court may choose to grant joint custody, sole custody, or third-party custody. For the most part, the statutes dictating child custody in Connecticut favor joint custody, granting both parents access to a child. Regardless of your personal preference, though, any parent who wishes to file for child custody in Connecticut should first become familiar with the child custody laws in Connecticut.

Related: Help our readers by sharing your experience with child custody in Connecticut.

Joint Custody

In Connecticut, a family court's award of joint custody will include the following provisions:

  • A determination regarding where the child will live according to the needs of the child and the parents
  • A determination regarding consultation between the parents for making major decisions regarding health, education, and religious needs

Alternative Custody Arrangements

If a Connecticut family court does not order joint custody, it may order the following alternative custody arrangements:

  • Sole custody to one parent with appropriate visitation with the non-custodial parent. Connecticut will only order sole custody when it is deemed to be in the best interests of the child.
  • Another child custody agreement determined to be in the best interests of the child (i.e. a third-party custodian, such as a grandparent or sibling)

Factors Considered When Determining Child Custody in Connecticut

In reaching a custody decision in Connecticut, the court will consider the following factors:

  • The needs of the child
  • Each parent's ability to understand the needs of the child
  • The child's preference and information obtained from the child
  • Each parent's preference
  • The child's past and current relationship with each parent
  • Each parent's willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The child's cultural background
  • A history of abuse
  • A history of domestic violence
  • Whether either parent participated in a parenting education program
  • The mental and physical health of all involved parties

Additional Court-Ordered Testing Related to Child Custody in Connecticut

A Connecticut family court may order parents to undergo counseling, or drug or alcohol screening, if the court deems such tests to be in the best interests of the child.

Aside from the child custody factors mentioned, Connecticut child custody laws will determine custody based on the court's best judgment and the best interests of the child. Parents who have questions about child custody in Connecticut, or custody proceedings, should speak with an attorney in Connecticut or refer to the Connecticut child custody statutes.

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