New Haven Parenting Plans
Empathetic Trial Litigator Helping You Reach a Resolution
Attorney Thomas J. Piscatelli is an experienced trial lawyer who balances an empathetic and compassionate client-facing demeanor with a ready-to-fight attitude in the courtroom. Especially in the face of issues as important as parenting plans, you can trust that Attorney Piscatelli will do his best to protect your rights as a parent and negotiate a parenting plan favorable to you as best he can. He will strive to facilitate an open environment conducive to negotiation for his clients to ensure that clear and cooperative discussion occurs between parents to preserve their family unit in the child’s best interests.
Custody Affecting Visitation Arrangements
Parents can write up their own parenting plan without the influence of the court by negotiating with each other, with their attorneys, or in mediation. Mediation involves a neutral third-party professional whose purpose is to facilitate a cooperative discussion between the parents, not make any decisions for them. If parents cannot reach an agreement in any of these settings, the court will step in and make the final custody and visitation decision based on their understanding of the child’s best interests.
Note that when creating a parenting plan, their custody decision will largely impact a court’s determination of a reasonable visitation schedule. Recall that legal custody pertains to the decision-making authority and responsibility for the child, and physical custody pertains to the actual care and residence of the child. Depending on whether parents have joint or sole custody, their parenting plan will address any time the other should have with their child. For instance, if the parents share joint legal custody but not physical custody (one parent has sole physical custody), the other noncustodial parent has a right to at least a minimum amount of visitation with their child. Note that if the custodial parent believes the other parent may pose a certain danger to their child (for example, if they have an alcohol addiction), the court may order supervised visitation.
What to Address in a Parenting Plan
In order for the court to accept a parenting plan and custody order, the agreement should be written clearly and include at least the following:
- a visitation and custody schedule that includes holiday and vacation time;
- a plan for any possible dispute resolution in the future, should it be needed;
- provisions for how to handle any future situation in which a parent may fail to honor the obligations of the plan and how that will be resolved;
- provisions for how to accommodate the child's changing needs as they mature and grow;
- provisions for shielding the child from any possible parental conflict, and the cooperation and willingness of the parents to compromise when working to uphold the best interests of the child.
The court will review the submitted parenting plan, consider the terms of the agreement, and then decide whether or not to finalize it as a court order. If the agreement is found to be fair and equitable to both parties and the child, and particularly that it addresses the best interests of the child, the court will likely rule it an order. Otherwise, the court may determine which parts of the parenting plan need revising, and the parents should make those changes accordingly before returning to the court for finalization.
Visitation with Non-Parents
While Connecticut courts recognize the importance of a child’s natural parents in their life and prefer that children remain with their parents in most cases, the court does have the power to grant visitation to any person, if they request it. In most such cases, grandparents, other relatives, and even nonfamily members may request visitation with the child. However, note that granting child visitation does not entitle that person to any custodial or parental rights to the child, and it does not negate or take away any of the rights of the custodial rights from the parents.
The court will weigh many factors in when determining such visitation and rule in accordance with the child's best interests, the child's wishes (if they are of sufficient age), all other relevant circumstances and evidence before making a ruling on a visitation request.
Contact The Law Offices of Thomas J. Piscatelli, LLC
If you are currently involved in a custody battle and seek legal guidance in negotiating parenting time, whether you are a custodial or noncustodial parent, an experienced visitation lawyer can help. The Law Offices of Thomas J. Piscatelli, LLC balance wise and efficient trial representation with compassionate and personable negotiation tactics. You can trust that Attorney Thomas J. Piscatelli will keep your and your child’s best interests in mind as he helps you through the parenting plan negotiations process, both in and out of the courtroom.
Schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Thomas J. Piscatelli, LLC to learn more. Call (203) 528-0890 or fill out a contact form here.
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