Parents in Connecticut who are contemplating divorce often experience a cascade of stress over how it will affect their children. Divorce issues revolving around children can be extremely emotional, which can turn into a contentious situation if not kept in check. A good way to both lessen these types of reactions while gaining the proper information to lead parents forward in a calm manner is to learn about the basics of child custody in Connecticut.
While custody arrangements are often a controversial subject for divorcing Connecticut parents, a recently-published study that was conducted in Sweden shows evidence that children do better when they spend time living with both parents. While it is a commonly-held belief that shared custody arrangements are more stressful to children due to frequent moves, the study showed that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, children in shared custody arrangements showed fewer psychosomatic problems than children who lived exclusively with one parent.
While there is no question that children have financial needs, one debate that is of concern to Connecticut parents is whether someone should go to jail for not paying child support. While some people believe that failure to pay child support should be a crime, others argue that jail is a draconian measure that does not take into account the financial situation of many low-income parents.
Maintaining healthy connections with each parent and their extended family members can be possible for Connecticut children whose divorced parents can work together to allow reasonable visitation to occur. Reasonable visitation is intended to allow children and the noncustodial parent opportunities to maintain and nurture the relationship, and encourages both parents to keep in contact with each other, create realistic and reasonable visitation dates and times, and be understanding to a non-custodial parent's requests to have the children for meaningful dates and events.
The best interests of a child refer to the circumstances and actions that foster the emotional and mental development, safety and security of the child. Connecticut is one of 21 states that lists specific factors the court must consider in a child custody case before issuing an order.
In January, a Connecticut task force appointed to study problems in family court and child custody cases began releasing recommendations to state lawmakers. Among them was a proposal that the courts limit legal costs to families, specifically the fees paid to court-appointed child guardians.
A Texas man has been recently required to serve six months in jail as a result of a clerical error in his child support payments. The system is automated and somehow produced an error that, when discovered was repaid immediately, but to no avail. The bill amounted to $3,000 and was repaid quickly but still ended in a jail term. The laws of many states, including Connecticut, provide for potential incarceration if a child support order is not complied with.
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.