Missing boy provides opportunity to discuss child custody in Connecticut

A missing boy case out of the Boston area provides an opportunity for people throughout the East to discuss child custody basics. The case involves a five year-old boy who went missing from his mother's home. The mother had taken custody of the little boy, his nine year-old brother and seven year-old sister after leaving the father. She accused the father of drug use and kept the children from their father for two years.

According to a local CBS affiliate, the brother and sister were removed from the mother's custody after the young girl told counselors that her five year-old brother was missing and that the mother's boyfriend was abusive. Although police just recently learned of the disappearance, it appears the boy has been missing since September. Authorities arrested the mother and her boyfriend and are considering the case a possible homicide. The father is now attempting to gain custody of the children, who are currently in foster care.

How this case impacts child custody in Connecticut

Although not a common case, the situation above can lead to valuable discussions on how child custody works. Child custody laws vary in each state. Child custody determinations in Connecticut are guided by the best interest of the child standard. This standard allows judges to take into consideration the "rights, wishes and desires of the parents" but ultimately serves to ensure that the child's welfare is the primary consideration.

The following factors are used when attempting to determine the best interest of the child:

  • Temperament of the child
  • Developmental needs of the child
  • Wishes of the parents
  • Relationship of the child with each parent
  • Ability of the parents to be actively involved in the child's life

These are just a few factors the court can examine when making its determination. It is also important to note that there is a presumption that remaining in the care of a parent, as opposed to a third party, is in the child's best interest.

In addition, the court system also prefers minor children be raised jointly by both parents. This type of custody, referred to as joint custody, allows each parent to retain the ability to make decisions regarding the child's well-being. If this is not granted, the court must explain the reasons for this decision.

Importance of legal counsel

It is important that those seeking custody of their children properly present the facts of the case. These facts are used by the courts to aid them in their determination. As a result, those going through a custody determination are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced child custody lawyer to better ensure their case is presented in a manner that helps better ensure a more successful outcome.