In addition to divorce and adoption, child custody is one of the common types of family law cases. It is also one of the most important aspects of a divorce, as it determines a custody schedule of a child when the parents live separately. If you seek custody of your child or children, the steps below explain how to do so in Connecticut.
Determining Which State Has Jurisdiction
Before the Connecticut courts agree to determine child custody, they must have jurisdiction to do so. Either the child must have called Connecticut their home state for six months prior to the case, or one of the parents must have a significant connection to the state involving child care, family, schooling, work, or otherwise. In some cases, if the home state declines jurisdiction, a state may take jurisdiction as a last resort, in order to resolve the issue in the child's favor.
Filing Petition Forms
When you've determined that Connecticut has jurisdiction over your child's welfare, you must submit the appropriate forms, which you can find on the state's family law website. Fill out the forms completely, and submit them with the Superior Court Clerk. You will also have to pay a filing fee, although this may be waived due to financial hardship, and you may have to swear an oath with the court clerk verifying your identity. The petition must be delivered via State Marshal to the other party. The Marshal will charge a fee for this service.
Hiring a Family Law Attorney
It's important that you do not try to represent yourself in a child custody case. Hire an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process, represent you in court, and negotiate on your behalf with the other party. This increases your chances of success and insulates both parents from the acrimony that might otherwise arise.
If you need a family law expert to help you file for custody, contact Peck & Peck Attorneys at Law in Hartford, CT. They are a father and son team, and the firm has been in place for more than 35 years. In addition to family law, they also specialize in car accident and personal injury law and injury settlements as well as criminal defense. Visit their website to learn more about the company or call (860) 236-4782 to arrange a consultation.