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Connecticut may make child safety the first priority in custody

Children are the future of our families, our nation and our world. They deserve all of the protections we can give them to assure their safe and constructive upbringing. Good parents rarely have a problem with that. But, the protections that families and the government of Connecticut afford children can seem weak when divorce, separation and other events make them victims of adult's decisions.

A lawmaker in Hartford is proposing a new way of protecting children who are caught in dramatic divorce cases like those where a suspected murder occurs.

A mother is suspected dead after she disappeared during a divorce case involving hundreds of court filings over two years. The proposed law would make child abuse the top priority in determining child custody in cases like this.

"Such cases are often labeled ‘high conflict,' but that's a misnomer," said the state senator sponsoring the bill. "These cases are often the results of abusers weaponizing the legal system to harass, intimidate and destroy the person who dared to leave."

Child abuse is one of 16 factors used to determine the best child custody result during divorce cases and similar potential disputes. If this bill becomes law, it would make Connecticut the first state to recognize child safety as the first priority in custody cases.

Parents and relatives with concerns over the safety of children in custody disputes may make their case in probate court or another legal venue in Connecticut. An attorney can help look at your individual circumstances and work with you to develop a winning strategy for court appearances.

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