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Family law and fairness

When a Connecticut court decides child custody cases, the judge's overriding concern is supposed to be the best interests of the child or children involved. It may not always seem this way when custody cases are finally resolved. This is often because the law favors granting custody to the biological parents of children whenever possible. Anyone who believes that the best interests of a child are served by granting custody to someone other than the child's biological parent may have to prove that the biological parent presents an imminent danger to the safety and well being of the child.

Grandparents can often be frustrated by the outcome of a child custody dispute. Unless they legally adopt their grandchild, they have no legal standing when the custody of the grandchild is in question. This means that if a parent leaves a child with grandparents while the parent has major life problems, the parent can easily reclaim the child once these issues have been resolved regardless of the length of time that the grandparents were the caregivers. The grandparents may have difficulty understanding how this serves the best interests of the child, but the court will most likely side with the biological parent.

Stepparents who divorce likewise may find that they have no legal standing for shared custody or visitation for the children they raised or provided for unless they have legally adopted their stepchildren. The only way for them to have any kind of custody arrangement would be for them to demonstrate that the biological parent presents an imminent danger to the children.

A person involved in a custody dispute may want to talk with an attorney with experience in family law matters. The attorney may be able to demonstrate how the client's continued presence may be in the best interests of the child.

Source: Huffington Post, "The 'F' Word in Family Law", Natalie Gregg, December 03, 2013

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