Legal Information: Connecticut

Custody

Updated: 
October 6, 2018

I am the child's grandparent, close relative, etc. Can I get visitation?

Possibly. Anyone can file for visitation if s/he can allege in the petition (and later prove at a hearing) that:

  1. a parent-like relationship exists between the person and the child; and
  2. denial of visitation would cause real and significant harm.1

In determining whether a "parent-like relationship" exists between the petitioner and the child, the judge can consider the following factors (among others):

  • the length of the relationship between the petitioner and the child before s/he filed for visitation;
  • the length of time that the relationship between the petitioner and the child has been disrupted;
  • the specific parent-like activities of the petitioner toward the child;
  • any evidence that the petitioner has unreasonably undermined the authority and discretion of the custodial parent;
  • the significant absence of a parent from the life of the child;
  • the death of one of the child's parents;
  • the physical separation of the parents of the child;
  • the fitness of the person seeking visitation; and
  • the fitness of the custodial parent.2

If the person applying for visitation is a grandparent (or great-grandparent), the judge can also consider the history of regular contact and proof of a close and substantial relationship between the grandparent and the child in addition to considering the factors above.3

In determining the best interests of the child, the judge is supposed to consider the child's wishes if s/he is old enough to be able of form an intelligent opinion.4

Note: If a grandparent or other person is granted visitation, such visitation rights cannot be a ground for preventing the relocation of the custodial parent.5

1 CT ST § 46b-59(b)
2 CT ST § 46b-59(c)
3 CT ST § 46b-59(d)
4 CT ST § 46b-59(e)
5 CT ST § 46b-59(f)