Family Law

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Child Custody

Child custody matters and child-related issues are among the most difficult and emotional of family law issues and must be handled with the utmost sensitivity, skill, and knowledge of the intricacies of Connecticut law.

The child custody attorneys at Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt understand that this is a very stressful time for you and your children. The attorneys have experience navigating complex child custody matters in Connecticut, allowing for knowledgeable and compassionate representation. Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt will collaborate with you to establish clear, realistic child custody goals and then develop a personalized strategy to help you meet these objectives.

Negotiating Custody Agreements

Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt can represent your interests in negotiating a custody agreement and parenting plan with your child’s other parent. Child custody includes two components: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to the authority to make major decisions about the children, such as those pertaining to healthcare, education and religion, among other areas. In Connecticut, there is a presumption that parents will share joint legal custody to allow both parents to participate in making decisions about these major issues. There are circumstances in which parents may be unable or unwilling to consult and make decisions together in one or all of these areas.

Circumstances may include mental health, substance use, past uninvolvement, or belief systems. In such circumstances, it may be appropriate for one parent to have final or sole decision-making regarding the children’s healthcare, education, or religion.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where the children will live. The parenting plan schedule will detail when and how the children spend time with each parent and can address regular, holiday, summer, and vacation schedules. The family lawyers at Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt will assist you in carefully crafting parenting plan schedules that are tailored to meet the unique needs of your family now and in the future, which may include special developmental needs of a child, a child’s age, location of schools and homes, safety concerns, and work schedules.

Custody Disputes

If you and your child’s other parent are unable to reach a custody and parenting plan agreement, Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt will advocate for your interests and the interests of your children at all stages, including negotiations, custody evaluations, or hearings. The focus of any custody decision centers around meeting the children’s best interests, including consideration of the following factors:

  • The capacity and disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child
  • Interactions and relationships between the child and each parent, as well as other people, such as siblings ograndparents, who may significantly affect the best interest of the child
  • Preferences of the child (this applies to older children)
  • The willingness of each parent to encourage a continued relationship between the child and the other parent as is appropriate
  • The ability of each parent to be actively involved in the child’s life
  • The stability of the child’s existing and/or proposed residences
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved

Alternatives to Litigation

In addition to traditional litigation, Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt’s practice includes collaborative divorce and divorce mediation, which provide private, out-of-court, non-adversarial alternatives for resolving child custody disputes and other family law matters.

Special Factors

With Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt’s deep experience and knowledge in child custody matters, the firm’s attorneys are able to expertly handle specialized matters that add unique complexities to child custody cases. These include, but are not limited to:

Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt’s attorneys routinely consult and work with mental health professionals and substance abuse experts to address and manage issues related to mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence.

Matters That Arise Post-Judgment

Sometimes, after a custody arrangement is in place, changes to the parenting schedule or custodial arrangement must be made to continue meeting the children’s best interests. For instance, as children grow, their school and sports schedules may make it difficult for them to travel back and forth between two residences during the week, and the existing parenting plan may need to be adjusted. Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt’s attorneys can represent you in seeking modifications of court orders regarding all aspects of child custody. The firm can also take actions to enforce court orders post-judgment if your child’s other parent violates the custody arrangement.

Contact the family law attorneys at Ruel Ruel Burns & Britt to discuss your child custody matter or other family law matters. Call 860-206-9096 or click here.