One of the most significant effects when parents go through a divorce can be the change in family dynamics for a child, and child custody decisions by the court are approached from the standard of the best interest of the child. This means that decisions will be based on the facts of a case in order to promote the child’s welfare as the most important concern. Parental rights and wishes are considered, but these are weighed in light of a child’s needs.
Different types of child custody arrangements may be considered based on the facts and issues in each individual situation. In the case of joint custody, both legal and physical custody is to be shared by the parents to promote ongoing contact with both. When shared physical custody is awarded, both parents are responsible for the physical care and management of a child in excess of the time that would be permitted in a typical visitation order. The time does not need to be equally shared for shared physical custody to be awarded.
Split custody references situations in which there are two or more children of a marriage with each parent being designated as a custodial parent for at least one child. Sole custody, on the other hand, allows one parent the legal authority to make all relevant decisions related to a child’s care. This includes medical, educational, and religious matters. While one parent may have sole physical custody, the other parent may have a visitation plan so that a relationship with a child may be maintained.
When a parent faces decisions about custody, it may be important to have legal assistance in presenting concerns about certain possibilities, particularly those that could create greater disruption in light of an already challenging change because of a divorce. It may be important to frame concerns in light of the best interest of the child standard used by the state.
Source: jud.ct.gov, “Child Custody Actions in Connecticut“, October 07, 2014