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Understanding how custody works in Connecticut

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2021 | Family Law

Divorce is painful for everyone involved, but especially for children. When it comes to a custody battle, it is important to remember that no matter the outcome, both parties will still want to have a relationship with the children once it’s over.

Connecticut has no-fault as well as at-fault grounds for divorce. Although both parents have equal rights to custody, the court will weigh many factors in granting custody. When factoring in child support in Connecticut, there is no automatic parenting time credit that will reduce the child support amount. The court will consider any alterations to child support on a case-by-case basis.

What kind of custody allowed

Connecticut laws recognize joint or sole legal or physical custody.  The court’s determination of custody arrangements factors in many variables that are dependent on each family’s situation, as well as the approval of a parental responsibility plan that the parents agree to. Joint custody will not necessarily mean equal custody, however, as the judge weighs in on what is in the best interest of the child when making a final judgement.

What is in the best interests of the child?

Mitigating the damaging effect that divorce and family history has had on children is a priority for judges making the final determination on custody, but other considerations also influence the judge’s ruling on future arrangements. Connecticut law outlines a number of factors the judge will consider during the hearing that are in the best interest of the child. Among these are:

  • temperament and needs of the child, as well as the parents’ capacity to fulfill those needs
  • mental and physical health of both parents
  • the child’s past and present relationship to each parent, as well as the child’s wishes if they are 12 or older
  • willingness of either parent to encourage a parent-child relationship with the other parent
  • the wishes of the parents for sole or joint custody
  • stability of the custodial residence and ability of the custodial parent to maintain this and to be actively involved with the child
  • the child’s adjustment to the home, school and community environment

For residents of New London and throughout Eastern Connecticut, it is beneficial to get the advice of a skilled family law attorney who can help you to decide on the path that will best meet the needs of your children and your unique situation.


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