Appointments in Norwich and Groton

Guardianship and Third-Party Visitation

Many times third parties such as grandparents can pay the price when parents separate and fight over custody of the minor children. Does your ex-daughter-in-law not allow you to see your grandchildren? Other times there may be reasons why the minor children would be better in your care than in the care of their parents? In either case, you may be asking what can be done.  These are not easy legal issues. In the last decade, appellate courts have tackled these issues and statutes have been revised. Our Family Law Practice Group prides itself on remaining current on all recent case law and statutory changes.

Connecticut law allows the court to award custody of the minor children in any contested custody case to either party or to a third party. Connecticut law allows third parties to intervene in a pending custody action and seek that custody or visitation be awarded to them. Finally, Connecticut law allows third parties to commence a court action of their own seeking visitation.

The law is fluent in this area. However, the Courts do generally apply the best interest of the children standard to these actions. Additionally, the third party may be required to prove (1) that he or she has a parent-like relationship with the minor children and (2) that denial of visitation would cause the children real and significant harm.


These custodial issues can often be addressed either in Probate Court or in Family Court. Choosing the appropriate arena could be the difference between success and failure.  Rely on our expertise to guide you and give you the best chance at obtaining an order of visitation or custody. Call our Family Law Practice Group now for a consultation.