Child Custody and Visitation
Connecticut Superior Court has jurisdiction to make orders concerning the custody of the children of divorcing couples. The courts will use the standard of "What is in the best interest of the child" to make such a determination. While the courts may hear arguments concerning the conduct of the parents during marriage, the courts will only consider those arguments to the extent that they relate to the health and well being of the children.
If a court has not yet issued any orders concerning the custody or visitation of the child, then the law presumes that both parents have equal custody rights. Thus, before a divorce case has been started, both parents have an equal right to access to the children and to make legal decisions concerning the child. When the parents cannot agree on visitation or on legal decisions for the children, then that is when they have to come to court to get an order. When custody or visitation is disputed, the court will likely order that a study be done by the Family Relations staff which works for the Connecticut Judicial Branch. The Court is not required to make an order in accordance with the findings of the Family Relations study.
Divorce cases that involve custody or visitation are usually some of the most difficult and contentious of all divorce cases. These cases usually bring out the strongest emotions in litigants. If you are truly seeking sole custody or limited visitation of the child by your spouse, then you must seek the assistance of an attorney immediately. Normally, a court will presume that it's in the best interest of a child for both parents to have liberal involvement in the child's life. Therefore, to get a court to make an order of sole custody or limited visitation requires extensive work to build such a case. Attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins has extensive experience building such cases for his clients. He also has extensive experience working through the process with the Family Relations staff who investigate these cases.