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Westport Child Custody Lawyer

It is possible to advocate for a preferable custody order or parenting plan, provided you can show that it would also be in your child’s best interests.  If there is a dispute between you and your spouse/co-parent about the custody of your children, a court has the authority to make a binding decision.

Once retained, a Westport child custody lawyer could work with you to establish and pursue a custody order that serves both your wishes and your child’s wellbeing. Additionally, if you wish to change a custody order that is already in place, a skilled family attorney could guide you through the process of lawfully petitioning for a modification.

How Custody is Decided in Westport Courts

While court approval is an essential final component of the child custody process in Connecticut, parents do have the right to draft a preferable custody plan with help from legal counsel and/or third-party mediators rather than letting the court make a decision. Parents who make their own custody plan are expected to prioritize their child’s best interests above all else, just as the court would.

A child custody plan should incorporate the same factors regardless of who drafts it or how many children it applies to. As defined by Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56, relevant factors in child custody decisions may include but are not strictly limited to:

  • Each parent’s capacity and disposition to understand and meet the needs of their child;
  • The child’s relationships with their parents;
  • Each parent’s willingness and ability to encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent; The child’s adjustments to his or her school, home, and community environments; and
  • The child’s unique medical and behavioral needs, if any.

The desires of each parent can be acknowledged to a certain extent, as can the child’s own wishes depending on the child’s age. A local child custody attorney could explain each of these criteria in greater detail and help determine how they might impact a particular case.

Seeking a Modification to a Custody Order

Once a custody order is put in place, neither parent can lawfully violate it unless they first seek and are granted permission from a court to modify the terms of the order. The party seeking the change must prove that circumstances have materially changed to such a degree that the original order no longer serves their child’s best interests.

A “material change in circumstances” does not necessarily have to be centered around the child to whom the custody order applies. For example, a custodial parent moving to another state for a new job opportunity could be grounds for a modification in certain situations. A child custody lawyer in the area could help file a petition for such a modification and then advocate in favor of the petitioner’s position during the following court hearing.

Speak with a Westport Child Custody Attorney

Child custody can be a controversial component of divorce and separation proceedings. With help from legal counsel, you may be able to effectively navigate this crucial component of your divorce, separation, or custody case.

A Westport child custody lawyer could serve as a key ally in your fight to preserve your future with your children. Call today to discuss what may be possible in your situation.