ConnecticutChild Visitation Laws
Connecticut Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
What is child visitation?In the context of a child custody case, visitation is defined as the rights for a non-custodial parent to see their child, or as temporary custody that's been granted for a period of time to an otherwise non-custodial parent or relative.
In general, courts in Connecticut assume that it is beneficial for both biological parents of a child to have shared custody or visitation, unless it is shown to be against the child's best interests. A biological parent who is denied custody may be awarded visitation rights to provide for a relationship between the parent and child.
Visitation by grandparents, family members, or other third-parties is less clear cut in Connecticut, and nationwide. While there are state guidelines regarding third-party visitation in certain situations, these laws are frequently challenged.
Above all else, courts in Connecticut strive to make custody and visitation decisions that are "in the best interests of the child". The court handling each individual visitation case has significant flexibility in determining what arrangement is in the child's best interests. You can read about Connecticut's visitation guildelines on this page.
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How can Visitation Rights be Requested?
In Connecticut, a biological parent of a minor child may request visitation rights as part of an open divorce, parentage or custody case, or as a stand-alone petition for visitation.
When reviewing a request for visitation, the court will base their decision on whether granting a parent visitation would be in the "best interests of the child." The factors considered in this decision can include the child's emotional and development needs, home environment, the child's wishes and the ability of the child's parents to cooperate.
Grandparents are allowed visitation rights with their grandchildren, however, they may only obtain visitation rights if the child's parent is deceased, divorced or separated, missing , or the child is not residing with either parent. Just as is the case for determining visitation for biological parents, grandparent visitation is allowed as long as it is in the "best interests of the child."
In the state of Connecticut, there are a number of laws regarding child visitation regarding visitation for third-parties other than the biological parents of the child. While state laws regarding third-party visitation have been frequently been challenged in courts, they are a good indication of Connecticut's positions regarding non-parental visitation rights.
Visitation Rights Of Grandparents In Connecticut:
Connecticut has special statutes regarding the child visitiation rights of grandparents under different circumstances. Under state law, the grandparents of children may obtain visitation while the parents are alive, regardless of the parent's marital status.
Regardless of state presumptions regarding grandparent's visitation rights under specific circumstances, a Connecticut court may allow or prevent visitation rights in any situation based on the best interests of the child.
Visitation Rights Of Other Parties In Connecticut:
Are step-parents granted visitation rights in the state of Connecticut?
Generally it is an uphill battle for step-parents seeking visitation rights for a step-child, especially if the biological parents of the child are alive and are opposed to the visitation.
The state of Connecticut does not have any laws that grant child visitation rights to step-parents, which may make applying for visitation significantly harder. In all cases, third-party visitation rights are more likely to be granted by the court if they are deemed to be in the best interests of the child.
Can other interested parties or relatives be granted visitation rights to a child in Connecticut?
Under state of Connecticut law, it may be possible for other individuals to be granted visitation rights by the court. This might include relatives other than the child'a parents, previous caregivers, etc.
Can parents be granted visitation rights after termination of parental rights or adoption in Connecticut?
In the state of Connecticut it may not be possible to be granted visitation rights after losing parental rights or giving up a child for adoption. This is the case with both biological parents and previous guardians.