CHILD CUSTODY

 

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The following is summarized from the Connecticut General Assembly Office of Legislative Research, Report #99-R-0791

WHAT IS CHILD CUSTODY

In Connecticut, child custody, in cases of dissolution of a marriage, is determined by a judge in the Family Division of Superior Court. Judges use the "best interests of the child" standard in awarding custody of minor children. If both parents agree, the law establishes a presumption of joint custody. There is also a presumption that it is in the child's best interest to be in the custody of a parent over a non-parent. But, testimony or other evidence can rebut both of these presumptions.

WHAT CAN THE COURT REQUIRE OF PARENTS

The court has the authority to require an investigation of the circumstances of the child and family, and if it orders one, it cannot dispose of the case until the investigation report has been filed. The investigation can include the child's parentage and surroundings; his/her age, habits, and history; the home conditions, habits, and character of his parents; an evaluation of his/her physical and mental condition; the cause of the marital discord; and the financial ability of the parties to provide support. The court may also appoint counsel for any minor child when it deems it to be in the child's best interest. Courts in the Family Division are required to establish a parenting education program to educate people on the impact on children of divorce, separation, and other changes to the family structure. The court must order separating or divorcing parents to take a parenting education course, unless both parties agree, with the court’s approval, not to, or the court decides that parenting education is not necessary, or the parents choose to take a comparable parenting education program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CHILD CUSTODY ISSUES, see

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SOURCE: Connecticut General Assembly Office of Legislative Research, Report #99-R-0791
PREPARED BY: 211/kq
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: January2014