When parents who share minor children divorce, they must make important decisions regarding the children’s post-divorce living arrangements. If they cannot work out a co-parenting plan on their own, then the court will have to intervene.
Child custody matters can be complicated. If you are negotiating or litigating the custody of your child, one of the most pressing concerns you might have is whether the child’s opinion does matter. Well, this depends on the circumstances of your divorce.
The court awards custody on the basis on the best interests of the child
Some parents assume that a child – once they reach a certain age — can decide which parent they want to live with. However, this is not entirely true. Whereas the child can express their desire to live with either parent in Connecticut, this desire cannot be the sole basis for awarding custody to one parent over the other. Rather, the court’s decision is, at all times, informed by the doctrine of the best interests of the child. In other words, the court will focus on the child’s happiness, physical and emotional well-being and security when pronouncing its ruling.
When can the child’s wishes carry weight?
Alongside the best interests of the child standard, the court might take various factors into consideration when evaluating the child’s wishes. Some of these factors include:
- Each parent’s background and capabilities (financially, physically and emotionally) to care for the child
- The child’s age and ability to make informed decisions
- The child’s special medical needs
- The child’s relation or attachment to each parent
Protecting your child’s best interests
Divorce is a difficult life experience for everyone involved, including the children. Learning more about Connecticut child custody laws can help you protect your parenting rights as well as your child’s best interests when litigating your custody case.