2018 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 45a - Probate Courts and Procedure
Chapter 802h - Protected Persons and Their Property
Section 45a-606 - (Formerly Sec. 45-43). Father and mother joint guardians.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 45a-606 (2018)

The father and mother of every minor child are joint guardians of the person of the minor, and the powers, rights and duties of the father and the mother in regard to the minor shall be equal. If either father or mother dies or is removed as guardian, the other parent of the minor child shall become the sole guardian of the person of the minor.

(1949 Rev., S. 6850; 1959, P.A. 177; 1969, P.A. 691, S. 1; 1972, P.A. 127, S. 66; P.A. 73-156, S. 19; P.A. 74-164, S. 13, 20; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 79-460, S. 4.)

History: 1959 act authorized application to remove parent as guardian by mother of child born out of wedlock for purposes of placing child for adoption by private agency; 1969 act added reference to placement of child for adoption by welfare commissioner in provision added by 1959 act, specified that notice must be given parents unless “the parent to be affected thereby is over twenty-one years of age” and has lodged written waiver with court and required appointment of guardian ad litem for parents under 21; 1972 act reduced age of majority from 21 to 18, amending references to parents' age accordingly; P.A. 73-156 deleted provision re application to remove parent as guardian made by mother of child born out of wedlock, required ten days' notice of hearing rather than five, authorized appointment of guardian ad litem when parent is incompetent and defined “guardian” and “guardian of the person” for purposes of section; P.A. 74-164 deleted definition added by 1973 act; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services; P.A. 77-614 replaced social services commissioner with commissioner of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-460 made provisions applicable to every minor child where previously applicable to “legitimate” children and deleted detailed provisions re procedure for removal of parent or parents as guardian; Sec. 45-43 transferred to Sec. 45a-606 in 1991.

See Sec. 17a-111 re statement that parents are not entitled to earnings of child supported by Commissioner of Children and Families.

See Sec. 19a-285 re consent by minor parent.

See Sec. 46b-172(a) re establishment of paternity by acknowledgment.

Annotations to former section 45-43:

Guardian appointed while minor is not of age to choose is guardian till majority of ward, unless removed. K. 287. Mother natural guardian on decease of father. 2 R. 323. Judge not liable in civil actions for appointment of bankrupt as guardian. 1 D. 329. Inequitable contract between guardian and ward will be set aside. 5 D. 549. Guardian not bound to support ward out of his own estate. 2 C. 388. Appointment showing jurisdictional fact of residence cannot be attacked collaterally. Id.; 75 C. 308. Guardian's authority coterminous with life of ward. 4 C. 189. Different kinds of guardians. 6 C. 500. Guardian liable on his bond for negligence in not collecting or securing note of nonresident debtor of his ward. 30 C. 508. Father was guardian of minor both as to person and property till arrival at majority, prior to 1901. 31 C. 553. Guardian used in statutes means guardian appointed by court. 33 C. 327. Mother's right as natural guardian inferior to that of guardian appointed by court. Id., 328. Father cannot transfer his right to custody to mother. 34 C. 263. Court has no discretion in matter of appointment if person chosen under Sec. 45-46 is suitable. 38 C. 304; 111 C. 246. History of statutes relating to guardian. 38 C. 319. Guardian primarily responsible to minor rather than court, and a suit on bond proper remedy for neglect of that duty. 43 C. 76. Guardian has no power to bind estate of ward by contract. 53 C. 119. Notice as to appointment under former law considered. 67 C. 366. Settlement of account of guardian by his executor; liability where ward's funds mingled with his own. 69 C. 259. What constitutes residence of child. Id., 301. False representation of guardian cannot affect estate. 72 C. 167. Liabilities where administrator of estate is also guardian of distributees. 75 C. 410; 80 C. 111. Father has no rights in estate of son. 76 C. 430. Guardian has authority only, not title to property; ordinarily represents ward in action. Id., 431; 93 C. 37; 111 U.S. 566. Powers and duties of guardian of estate. 77 C. 379. Right of guardian to compromise claim for personal injury. 84 C. 594. State where land is situated has sole right to appoint guardian of estate of minor as to it. 178 U.S. 186. Statute applies even though parents are living apart; applicable even though custody during most of year is awarded to mother. 99 C. 157. Guardian may not be appointed over illegitimate child until removal of mother under section. 100 C. 206. Abandonment of minor son by father emancipates son; effect on dependency of mother under compensation act. 105 C. 420. Parents have no right of property in their minor children of which they cannot be deprived without their consent. 110 C. 463. Joint guardianship of parents is qualified by court's power under Sec. 46-24. 131 C. 387. Cited. 134 C. 316. Where domicile of child is that of his mother, she may, so far as court action for determining his custody is concerned, have a domicile apart from her husband. 135 C. 124. Where jurisdiction of Probate Court not invoked, other courts may render judgment in habeas corpus as to custody. 136 C. 411. Gives no added right to a mother to recover from father of a child for child's support. 138 C. 7. Cited. Id., 600. Does not preclude appointment of guardian ad litem as provision is permissive. 140 C. 96. Cited. 141 C. 113. Parents are the joint guardians of their minor children, but the paramount consideration in awarding custody of minor children is the welfare and happiness of the child. 142 C. 558. Primary jurisdiction over removal of mother as guardian of person of her son is in Probate Court. 157 C. 576. Cited. 163 C. 343. Father of illegitimate child denied visitation rights on basis of individual child's best interests. 172 C. 612. Mother's right to sole guardianship does not absolutely preclude natural father of illegitimate child from seeking a judicial determination of custody or visitation. 175 C. 527. Standard to be used in issue of custody is set forth in Sec. 45-42b. 193 C. 393. Cited. 201 C. 229; 212 C. 63.

Cited. 6 CA 707.

Status of parents not affected by the circumstances that the parents are separated from each other. 3 CS 211. Where parent abandons minor child and other parent assumes, alone, the burden of supporting and caring for him, the deserting parent emancipates the child and the other parent is entitled to child's earnings. Id., 385. Cited. 7 CS 362; 10 CS 275. Where wife left husband to obtain divorce in another state, but at all times had the intention of resuming parental relationship to her children, held she had not abandoned them. 14 CS 59. Court cannot award custody of an unadopted child to father's wife since natural mother is sole guardian of an illegitimate child. Id., 391. Cited. 15 CS 226; 17 CS 224. Although mother of illegitimate child has superior right to his custody, that right is not absolute; as in case of legitimate child, welfare of child is controlling consideration. 24 CS 76. On appeal from Probate Court ruling removing plaintiff mother as a joint guardian of children, Superior Court's reversal of Probate Court's ruling justifies granting plaintiff's motion to terminate stay of execution so she may renew contact with children. 28 CS 189. Cited. 31 CS 188; Id., 271; 35 CS 237; 40 CS 221.

Annotations to present section:

Cited. 226 C. 652.

Cited. 24 CA 402; 34 CA 129; judgment reversed, see 234 C. 51. Mother and father of minor child are, de facto, guardians of that child; taken together, under this section and Secs. 45a-604(5) and 45a-605(a), authority to make major decisions affecting child's welfare intended to effectuate child's best interest includes authority to make legal decisions on behalf of the minor and would include, in this case, authority to assert child's legal rights in a court of law. 76 CA 693.

Cited. 44 CS 169.

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