Parents going through a divorce have the added stress of figuring out child custody. The state of Connecticut encourages parents to come to a decision together, but involvement of the court will occur if they cannot agree.
There are numerous factors a judge considers when determining custody, and these can also help guide parents when discussing what is best for the child.
Child custody basics
According to FindLaw, joint custody is an option in the state. In fact, in many families, granting custody to both mom and dad is a preferable agreement and is better for the child. Granting visitation rights to grandparents is also part of the custody agreement.
If a judge makes the custody decision, there are numerous factors considered. These considerations relate to parents and the child.
Best interest considerations
According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries, the main factors the judge looks at are those that are in the best interests of the child. The judge inquires about the wishes of the parents, but they are only part of the decision-making process. The child’s wishes are also a consideration once the child is old enough and mature enough to understand.
Common factors the judge considers are
- The desire and ability of each parent to provide for the child’s developmental and fundamental needs
- Physical and mental health of the child and parents
- The involvement of each parent
- Child’s relationship with parents and siblings
- Willingness of each parent to co-parent
- Stability of current living situation
The judge will look at any evidence of violence or abuse in the household. When making custody decisions, the court also prefers to keep routines and activities of the child as normal as possible.