When you divorce as a parent, your child’s well-being is the utmost concern. For many families, sharing custody gives children for a healthy, stable relationship with both parents.
Review the factors that influence child custody decisions in Connecticut as you make a plan to move forward as coparents.
Joint vs. sole custody
In most cases, the state presumes that joint custody supports the child’s physical and emotional health. However, you can ask for sole physical custody if you think your child’s other parent cannot provide a safe, stable home. If the judge agrees that sole custody is best for your child, the other parent can still receive reasonable visitation.
Connecticut also defaults to joint legal custody. That means you and your former spouse must collaborate on major decisions involving your child.
Best interest of the child standard
Connecticut judges must ensure that a parenting plan serves the child’s best interests. To determine this standard, the judge in your case may consider:
- Your child’s preferences on where to live if he or she is at least 12
- Whether you or your spouse has asked for sole custody
- The stability of your home and your spouse’s home, including your child’s adjustment to school and community
- The mental and physical health status of each family member
- The relationship each of you currently has and has historically had with your child
- Your child’s cultural background
- The willingness of each of you to foster a relationship with your child and his or her other parent
- Each parent’s ability to understand and meet the child’s needs
Parents can work together to create a custody plan and submit it to the court for approval. If you and your spouse cannot agree, the judge will decide on your behalf.