my granddaughters father wants to give me half his custody. she was living with him. My daughter has the other half. He said i have to go to court to file a motion. we are in ct. Is this true?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Yes this is true. Grandparents may have rights to visitation. Custody is much more difficult even with the assistance of a parent. “Any person may submit a verified petition to the Superior Court for the right of visitation with any minor child. Such petition shall include specific and good-faith allegations that (1) a parent-like relationship exists between the person and the minor-child, and (2) denial of visitation would cause real and significant harm. Subject to subsection (e) of this section, the court shall grant the right of visitation with any minor child to any person if the court finds after hearing and by clear and convincing evidence that a parent-like relationship exists between the person and the minor child and denial of visitation would cause real and significant harm.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-59(2017). Regarding obtaining Legal Custody, a person must file suit in Superior Court. If both parents consent to the custody change, the court is likely to grant it; if they do not, the applicant must prove (1) that being with his or her parents will harm the child’s growth or development or (2) that the parents are unfit to care for their child. The court’s decision is guided by the child’s best interest.
Parents do not lose their rights when custody is transferred to a third party. The court may require them to pay child support and may give them visitation rights. And a parent can subsequently ask the court to modify its custody order and return the child to him or her (CGS § 46b-57).