Connecticut Divorce Custody
Child custody issue is perhaps the most traumatic in a divorce. As is true in most of the divorce custody laws in USA, Connecticut divorce custody laws also specify that thought the interests of the parents should be kept in mind, it is the ultimate responsibility of the State to ensure that the welfare of the child is not compromised. The best interests of the child should be met with whatever be the final decision of the custody case.
When minors are involved:
Child custody laws in Connecticut are very cautious regarding custody of minor children. Joint custody is preferably awarded in such cases to ensure that the child gets the benefits of both the parents and the parents also get the opportunity to have the pleasure of raising the child despite the divorce and separation. However, shared custody or joint custody is not awarded if one parent is found to have a detrimental effect on the child, in terms of abuse or being involved in substance abuse, child abuse, child neglect, have police records or history of domestic violence etc.
Following guidelines are adhered to by the courts of Connecticut while deciding for divorce child custody cases:
All measures to ensure safety and security are taken to ensure that the child grows up in a healthy positive environment. State intervention is only made when divorced parents wish to battle out their custody issues in divorce courts. Otherwise, Connecticut courts recommend child custody mediation to settle the matter on child custody.
- Judges prefer awarding custody to the parent who has attended parent education programs as recommended by the courts when the child custody case had begun.
- While settling Connecticut divorce custody cases, judges lay importance on the emotional needs of the child. How close has the child been to the primary care taker? Who has been the one taking care of child’s dressing, bathing, dental and physical hygiene or in other words, the primary caretaker of the child? What is the relationship of the child with his/her siblings and is splitting the siblings during custody the wise thing to do? What is parent-child relationship and to which parent the child turns to during moments of emotional distress?
- Connecticut courts handling divorce child custody cases may recommend the parents to attend alcohol or drug screening programmes and counseling classes. These recommendations are only made if it is found to be in the best interests of the child.
- Child support is another important issue that the courts ask parents of the minor child to extend and the child support figure is calculated taking into account the incomes of both the parents, other returns on any investments etc. Child support is given to the child till he/she turns 18 and is later terminated. If the child is mentally or physically incapable of making his/her own living after the age of 18, child support is continued in such divorce custody cases.
- Connecticut courts appoint a mental health expert or an attorney to represent the best interests of the child and that there is no injustice to the child. Parents of the child are often asked to participate in child custody evaluation in such divorce custody cases so that the final parenting plan and visitation schedules are formulated after a thorough psychological assessment of the relationship of the child with his/her parent.
- In Connecticut divorce custody cases, the parent who is awarded the custody of the child, also called the custodian parent, is expected to respect the other parents’ visitation rights and not alienate the other parent from the child. Courts are very stringent regarding violation of visitation rights and consider any leniency and violation as contempt of court.