When parents divorce or separate, it is likely their children will be affected most of all. When it comes to issues of child custody in Connecticut, disputes could also arise between parents who were never married, but who are no longer in an intimate relationship. Custody matters need to be ironed out in these situations as well and sometimes they can involve grandparents and other relatives, too.
Most states will award sole custody to the mother when their parents were never married, though it is not automatic and the father has every right to pursue custody when circumstances warrant. An unwed father usually isn't awarded custody, though it is certainly possible. He can seek legal counsel if he wishes to obtain custody and/or parenting time with his children. As with parents who are divorcing, child custody and parenting time arrangements can be ironed out between the unmarried parents or by a family court judge who will look at what is in the best interests of the children.
Since the couple was never married, it is likely they will solely be focused on their children after they have separated. So, in many instances the process of ending a relationship may be much more simple unless someone other than the parents wishes to petition for custody -- like grandparents or other relatives. In these cases, the individual seeking custody will have to file a document usually called a nonparental custody petition.
Disputes over child custody can be emotionally fraught and the processes can be complex depending upon a client's situation. A Connecticut attorney experienced in family law can offer legal advice in keeping with the laws of the state. A lawyer may be able to help a client obtain the custody and visitation agreement best suited for him or her and the children involved.