The family division of the Superior Court hears cases involving family relationships. These cases include divorce and separation, custody, visitation, child support, paternity matters, and restraining orders. We have experience handling family law cases in the family courts of Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury, including visitation, custody, support, and restraining orders. We will listen to the unique facts of your family situation and help you obtain a resolution that meets your goals. Note that family court cases are those between parents (e.g. one parent or guardian challenging the other). Cases involving the State seeking to interfere with family relationships, which can include removing children and terminating parental rights, are juvenile court matters. Please see more information on juvenile law here.
Visitation, Custody, and Restraining Orders
In divorce and separation cases, the court generally issues orders regarding parents’ rights to visit their children. Visitation refers to the amount of time a non-custodial parent or another person (such as a grandparent or other relative) may spend with a child. Connecticut does permit grandparents to request visitation through third-party visitation actions, even though Connecticut does not have a specific “Grandparents’ Rights” law.
Even if the parents of a minor child were never married, a parent may ask the family court to make orders concerning visitation and custody. Without a court order, parents are left on their own to figure out where and with whom their children reside and how often the parents will visit their children.
Custody orders may be for joint custody, sole custody, split custody or shared physical custody. Generally, both parents participate in custody matters, but if there is a risk of harm to the children, then the court may issue an immediate ex parte order of custody. In this situation, the court issues the order without notice to the opposing party, but the court also sets a hearing for a later date. As in other family law matters, courts understand that circumstances change, so parents can request that a court modify custody arrangements.