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Connecticut Child Custody Laws

You met during a night out in Stamford. Wedding bells rang in Norwalk. After the honeymoon, you settled in Waterbury and had children. All has gone well up through the years until -- now. Now your Connecticut love story has come an end. When these endings involve kids, you will have to figure out who will get custody and which laws will apply to each case. Here is a brief overview of child custody laws in Connecticut.

Child Custody Laws

State child custody laws are fairly similar from one state to the next, and most states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act (including Connecticut). Connecticut child custody laws recognize the option of joint custody; allow for visitation by grandparents; and consider the child's own wishes before ordering custody terms.

Child Custody Statutes in Connecticut

Learn more about Connecticut's child custody laws in the chart below.

Code Section 46b-56 et seq.
Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted 1978
Joint Custody an Option? Yes §46b-56a
Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized? Yes, 46b-59
Child's Own Wishes Considered? Yes

Connecticut Custody Hearings

If you and your ex cannot agree on a custody arrangement, you may have to attend a custody hearing in court. If a judge has to determine custody issues, he or she will create an arrangement based on your child’s best interests. Connecticut family courts may to consider any factors that are relevant to your child’s best interests, and generally give more consideration to the factors that will affect your child’s safety and wellbeing. Some of these factors will focus on your child, like his or her preference (if he or she is old enough), his or her relationship with any siblings, and the need for consistency and continuity in his or her education, community, and family life.

Other factors may focus on you and your ex. For example:

  • Which of you is more likely to take care of the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of your child;
  • Which of you is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with your child; and
  • Which of you is more likely to encourage and allow frequent contact between your child and the other parent.

A judge can also consider certain criminal charges and convictions, any past or present physical abuse, and whether either parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Connecticut Family Laws Related Resources:

Child custody matters can be difficult to sort out, and you may find it helpful to talk to attorney. You can contact a Connecticut family law attorney near you to discuss your case. You can also visit FindLaw's Child Custody section for more introductory information on this topic.

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