For Connecticut parents going through a divorce, child custody may be on their minds. Who will get custody of the kids? Will it be shared? What are a parents’ rights? Not every case is the same, so there are no clear-cut answers to these questions. Parents may agree on a child custody arrangement themselves while, in other cases, the courts determine custody.
If the split is amicable, it is in the best interests of the child for the parents to come to an agreement themselves. After all, they know their child better than any judge. They can receive input from mediators and lawyers as to how they can reach a compromise. This will result in less stress for all involved.
If the parents cannot reach an agreement, then child custody will be determined by the court. The judge will look to the parent who has been the child’s primary caretaker. This means the parent who spends the most time taking care of the child’s day-to-day needs, such as dressing, grooming, feeding, medical appointments and teaching. If one parent was staying at home to care for the child, then he or she will likely be considered the primary caretaker.
When the parents are not married, then the mother will likely win physical custody of the child unless it can be proven that she is an unfit parent. However, both parents will be able to share legal custody, which means they both make decisions about the child’s upbringing. If both parents are unfit to care for the child, then another relative – such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent – may wish to seek custody. Another thing to consider is that, if the children are old enough, they can choose which parent they would rather live with and the court will keep that in mind when making a decision.