Parents are obligated to act consistent with the best interests of their children. However, what one parent may think is best for a child may not align with the opinion of the child’s other parent. Furthermore, the opinions and desires of both parents may differ from the official stance of the courts. These conflicts of interest regarding custody are commonly seen in the Fairfield County family courts.
In any situation where a child’s parents no longer live together on a permanent basis, there must be a custody agreement or court orders set after a hearing to determine the details of where a child will spend their time and who has the right to make important decisions in their life. This may be the product of a divorce or when two non-married parents no longer cohabitate or are able to cooperatively parent together. In many situations, child custody proceedings occur during or in relation to a divorce, but parents can petition the court to intervene in other cases.
A Greenwich child custody lawyer could help you assert your rights as a parent in court, fighting to ensure that your wishes are considered in your child’s life. An experienced family attorney can work to explain how the courts function and to make cogent arguments that push for a fair parenting plan.
A formal parenting plan is a requirement whenever the two parents of a child no longer live together. While these parents may agree as to the general form of the plan, this plan must still meet court approval. Connecticut General Statute §46b-56 states that a court must consider the best interests of the child above all other considerations when ruling on matters of child custody.
While there is no such thing as a “default custodial decree”, most matters generally involve a joint custody plan in which both parents will have time with the child and a say in major decisions. However, if the court determines that one parent poses a direct threat to the health, safety or best interests of the child or has become impossible to deal with as a co-parent that the court will issue an order for sole custody. Even then, the other parent may retain visitation rights. For many parents in Greenwich, a child custody attorney could provide more information about the potential forms of child custody arrangements, allowing parents to make the best strategic decisions for their child.
The concept of custody includes two sub-sections. The one that most people think about is physical custody. This determines where the child will live on a day-to-day basis. Because the courts prefer to have joint physical custody and a co-parenting relationship, children may spend part of the week with one parent and the remainder with the other. The time the child spends with each parent, especially if disproportionate, is a factor (of many) that the court also considers when determining child support payments.
The other type of custody is legal custody which is the right to determine choices concerning the child’s future. Medical, Educational and Religious decisions and issues are the major items that fall under legal custody. If the court grants joint legal custody, it may benefit parents to answer these questions as far in advance as possible to avoid any potential future conflict. A Greenwich child custody attorney could explain the differences and interactions between physical and legal custody.
Any time two parents no longer live together, the family courts in Fairfield County have the authority and responsibility to create a parenting plan. This plan will determine which parents have the right to make decisions concerning that child’s future and where the child will live on a day-to-day basis.
Many times, a child custody hearing is a natural part of a divorce. In fact, divorces involving children cannot finalize without a custody order. In other situations, one parent may petition the court to create a parenting plan when the other no longer lives with the child. In both cases, it is essential for parents to understand their rights under the law and to present persuasive cases in court.
A Greenwich child custody lawyer is often essential to presenting the strongest case in court. Take a step towards protecting your future and that of your child. Contact a Greenwich child custody lawyer today to learn more and schedule an initial consultation.