Connecticut Family
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How can I obtain sole custody of my child in Connecticut?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Child Custody |

Parents who decide they want to divorce typically strive to ensure that their decision to end their marital relationship does not have any lasting negative impacts on their relationship with their children. Sometimes, a parent who has long served as the primary caregiver for children aspires to obtain sole custody as part of their Connecticut divorce proceedings in furtherance of this goal, among others.

They may dislike the idea of only spending some of the week with their children, and they worry about their ex’s approach to parenting, their violent tendencies, their narcissism, their substance abuse issues, etc. Some parents, therefore, ask the courts to grant them sole custody so that they are with the children consistently and so that they have the authority to make all of the major decisions about their kids.

How do parents go about securing sole custody?

They file an uncontested divorce

The easiest way for a parent to confidently know that they will have the exact custody rights they desire involves cooperating with the other parent by pursing an uncontested divorce filing. For example, if parents reach a mutual agreement giving one parent sole custody but the other the right to liberal visitation with the children, the courts may approve those terms even if they deviate from what a judge would determine in a litigated divorce. Those who want divorce terms that differ from state standards often have the best success when they cooperate with the other parents.

They prove that a sole custody arrangement is best for the children

Connecticut state law requires that family law judges make custody determinations that are in the best interests of the children in the family. In fact, the law includes a presumption that shared custody is best for the children unless there is evidence to the contrary. In a contested divorce case, a parent seeking sole custody will typically need convincing evidence of factors that make shared custody unsafe for the children.

Documentation of negligence or abuse could help someone convince the courts that sole custody would be an appropriate solution for the family. Health issues, like addiction, could also lead to a judge determining that sole custody would be best. There will need to be verifiable evidence, ranging from police reports and medical records to testimony from neighbors or teachers, to help support one parent’s claim that leaving the children alone with the other parent would put them in harm’s way.

For those in dangerous situations, the courts can potentially intervene for the protection of the children. For others, requesting sole custody might actually put them at a disadvantage during custody proceedings, as it may convince the courts that they may not put the best interests of the children first. Learning more about how Connecticut handles custody matters may help parents to make informed decisions as their transition from a dual-parent household to a new arrangement.