Connecticut family courts have several different child custody arrangements available: joint custody, sole custody or third-party custody. Most of the statutes in the state's child custody laws tend to favor joint custody arrangements, in which both parents share custody of the child. However, it's important for parents going through a divorce to be familiar with the factors that go into determining the type of arrangement.
The following are some of the key factors courts will look at in setting up child custody:
- Health and safety of the parents and the child. Courts determine which parent is best able to meet the needs of children in regards to their health and safety, and whether there are health issues the parents may suffer from themselves. Courts also look for a history of domestic violence and whether either parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Emotional and developmental needs. The judge analyzes the child's relationship with each parent, and whether the parents seem to have a true desire to be involved in the child's life. The judge also determines the capabilities of the parents and whether they can satisfy the child's emotional and developmental needs.
- Ability to co-parent. Court officials are less likely to grant custody to parents who will involve a child in parental disputes or interfere with the child seeing the other parent.
- Parenting plans. Parents may come together to reach agreements about potential parenting plans before coming to the court for intervention. Courts look over these plans to determine their appropriateness and provide custody provisions based on those plans. This gives parents some degree of control in these proceedings.
To learn more about the factors affecting Connecticut child custody cases, we encourage you to speak with a skilled family law attorney at Siegel, Reilly & Kaufman, LLC in Stamford.