Siegel & Kaufman, P.C., has a proven record representing parents in child custody and parental responsibility cases. Custody cases determine how the parents will share legal decision-making for their child and whether the parents will share physical custody or one parent will have primary physical custody. Parental responsibility cases (sometimes referred to as "visitation" cases) result in a plan for specific time to be spent by each parent with each child. Our attorneys are among the most respected in the state and focus on creating a custody and parenting responsibility arrangement that fits your needs. Our emphasis is always on out-of-court solutions first when appropriate, and then we vigorously litigate your case if settlement is not viable.
Custody and parental responsibility are determined based on what is in the child's best interests. Connecticut courts consider the following factors when making those cases:
- The best interests of the child
- The needs and temperament of the child
- Each parent's ability to understand and meet the child's needs
- Any manipulation or coercion of the child by either parent
- Each parent's ability to be actively involved in the child's life
- Each parent's willingness to encourage and support the child's relationship with the other parent
- The mental and physical health of parents and child
- Each parent's past and current relationship with the child
- The stability of each parent's residence
- The child's cultural background
- The effect any domestic violence has had on the child
- Any abuse of the child or the child's siblings
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment and the desirability of continuing it
- The child's adjustment to home, community and school
- The child's opinion about custody, if the child is of sufficient age to express an opinion
- Whether the parents have completed a parenting education class
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
Because custody and parental responsibility are such important parts of your dissolution of marriage, it is essential to work with a family law attorney who has experience. Our Connecticut attorneys handle only family law cases and know how crucial these issues are to you. We provide accomplished child custody parental responsibility lawyers with the experience to resolve your case quickly.
Custody and parental responsibility can be modified or changed whenever there is a change in circumstances in the best interests of the child. Modifications to such orders can be achieved through settlement negotiations, child-custody mediation or court proceedings. Courts consider the same factors used to determine custody and parental responsibility when considering modifications. Siegel & Kaufman, P.C., helps you make changes to your parenting arrangement by listening to your needs and working vigorously for settlement or a court order in your favor.
There are various types of custody in Connecticut to consider:
- Physical custody - Physical custody has to do with where the child spends time. There are two types of physical custody. Primary physical custody means the child lives primarily (more than 50 percent of the time) with one parent and does spend time with the other parent according to the parental responsibility plan. Joint physical custody means that the parents share their time with the child.
- Legal custody - Legal custody may be sole or joint between both parents. Sole legal custody gives one parent the right to make decisions about the child's health, education and religion. Joint legal custody provides that the parents share in those major life decisions. Legal custody is usually joint in Connecticut, but sole legal custody is also possible under extraordinary circumstances justifying the exclusion of one parent from such decisions.
Parents are free to create their own custody and parental responsibility plan, but the plan must be approved by the court, which will consider the best interests of the child, before becoming a legal order. Our attorneys are skilled in negotiation, collaborative law, mediation, arbitration and litigation and are uniquely prepared to help you resolve your child-custody case.
If a parent wishes to relocate the child away from the other parent to the extent that the parenting responsibility plan is impacted, he or she must show:
- The relocation is for a legitimate purpose
- The proposed location is reasonable in light of such purpose
- The relocation is in the best interests of the child
The court must consider the reasons for and against the relocation, the relationships between child and parents, the impact of the relocation on the quantity and quality of the child's future contact with the non-relocating parent, the economic benefit of the relocation and whether the child's relationship with the non-relocating parent can be preserved through the parental responsibility plan. Siegel & Kaufman, P.C., has successfully resolved many relocation cases and is prepared to find a solution for yours. Our attorneys understand the criteria courts use in these cases and help you find an out-of-court solution if at all possible.
Siegel & Kaufman, P.C., is able to return phone calls on the same day. Reach us now at 203-326-5145 or via our online contact form. When you need a seasoned attorney to make sure your custody case is resolved in your favor, our office is your choice.