Child Custody & Parenting

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A parent with sole legal custody can make decisions without prior consultation with the other parent.

When discussing child custody matters, joint custody is a term that creates confusion, and with good reason.

The Connecticut statutes define joint custody as awarding legal custody of a minor child to both parents, providing for joint decision-making by the parents. Our statutes further state that there is a presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of a minor child.

Joint custody refers to the parents’ ability and right to make important decisions jointly for a minor child, related to such basic areas as health, religion and education. If joint custody is agreed to by the parents or ordered by the court, the parents must work together to make decisions regarding issues that arise for a child.

How much time each parent has with a child was formerly referred to as "visitation" or "access," and, in recent years, a "parenting plan." Parenting plans created by parents can reflect the unique situation of each family, taking into account the needs of all family members, employment hours, and special holiday or vacation plans. Parenting plans created by the court will contain what the court decides they should contain.

Connecticut has many resources to help parents resolve parenting issues, including parenting counselors who can be brought in on a referral basis to help couples resolve parenting issues constructively, avoiding the high costs of a child custody battle.

Ben Callaghan