Married couples in Connecticut who are getting divorced, as well as unmarried couples who were never married to begin with, oftentimes fight over one of the most difficult family law issues there is: child custody. Parents want what is best for their children and, when a couple that is splitting up can’t agree on what that is, this legal issue can get especially thorny. So, what do our readers in Connecticut need to know about child custody as a family law matter?

Well, for starters, it is important to know the two main aspects of child custody: “legal” custody and “physical” custody. Legal custody refers to which parent gets the right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as where the child attends school or church, or what medical care the child needs, for example. Physical custody refers to where the child will actually live, for the most part. In some situations, one parent is awarded physical custody while the other parent receives “visitation” rights.

However, awarding physical or legal custody to one parent over the other is usually rare these days, outside of some unusual situations. In most cases, family law courts want to enter “joint” custody orders for both physical and legal custody, but legal custody most of all. This is because it is fairly widely recognized these days that it is important for children to have both parents involved in their lives to the maximum extent allowable.

Child custody can be a complicated legal matter for parents in Connecticut. But, by staying focused on getting through the legal aspects of the case and attempting to suppress negative emotions that might bubble up as the case is litigated, parents can work to attempt to get to a favorable result.