Connecticut Little one Custody: Joint Custody and Joint Custody – Divorce Legislation Blogs Posted by Joseph C. Maya, Esq.
Custody vs. physical custody
In cases where children are involved, the parties or, if they cannot agree, the court must make decisions on custody and visitation. If you have problems related to custody, it is helpful to first understand the difference between custody and physical custody. In general, custody refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions about a child, while custody refers to the parents’ right to have personal access to the child.
Custody decisions often include granting joint or sole custody. When parents have joint custody, both usually have the right to participate in important decisions regarding their child. In particular, when the term “joint custody” is used without distinguishing between legal and physical custody, it is assumed that the term refers to both. Indeed, under CGS 46b-56a (a), joint custody is defined as “an order that gives both parents custody of the minor that provides for a joint decision between the parents and that provides that custody is shared Parents in such a way that the child remains in contact with both parents. “
In general, under a joint custody agreement, parents are required to consult with each other on important decisions that affect the child. Important decisions often involve those related to the child’s health, growth and development, school choice, religion, course of study, travel, employment, sports and activities, and significant changes in the child’s social environment. On the other hand, the parent with custody of the child usually has the right to make less important day-to-day decisions while the child is in their care. In this way, one parent can, for example, determine what the child wears to school or what the child has for dinner without having to consult the other parent repeatedly throughout the day.
Even under a joint custody agreement, the degree to which each parent has the right to participate in the decision-making process can vary significantly from case to case. In one case the parents can be completely equal, while in another case certain decisions can be assigned to one or the other parent. For example, one parent may have the right to make decisions about the child’s education, while the other parent may have the right to make decisions about the medical treatment of the child. In other cases, parents may need to consult on important issues related to the children, but one parent may have the final say on certain issues. It should also be noted that in joint custody arrangements, both parents usually have the right to make emergency decisions on behalf of the child without consulting the other parent. For example, if the child is injured while in the care of a parent, that parent generally has the right to make decisions related to emergency treatment.
In most cases, parents who share joint custody also share joint custody, with one parent designated as the primary custodian. Usually, “joint custody” does not mean “joint custody” or “50/50” parental leave. Rather, joint custody refers to agreements in which the child primarily lives with one parent and is subject to flexible and liberal visits to the other parent. A classic example of a joint custody arrangement is the child who lives with their mother and is visited every other weekend (often overnight, starting after school on Friday afternoon through Sunday evening) and one or two children, evening visits per week for dinner. However, this is by no means a rule and this model is becoming obsolete as the parties increasingly turn to more innovative and creative models. In fact, it is by no means uncommon today for parents to use a truly shared parenting model, where each parent has the same amount of time with the child every week or month. For example, the parties can agree on a weekly / weekly exemption or even a three or four day split to minimize balanced transitions. The appropriateness of a particular schedule will vary as parental plans are often influenced by the child’s age, the child’s school and / or activity schedule, the parents ‘respective work schedules, and / or the distance between the parents’ homes.
If you have any questions about family law issues, please contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or email JMaya@MayaLaw.com.
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