What Determines Child Custody in California?

sad child sitting in between fighting parents

When parents get a divorce or separate, it’s normal for them to be afraid about how it will affect their time with their children. Because of this, child custody issues can quickly become problematic for divorced parents. To ease these worries, it’s crucial to understand a parent’s rights and laws in California child custody cases.

How is Child Custody Decided?

Typically, courts favor situations where the child can continue to develop and grow their relationship with both parents. If parents can decide on a favorable custody arrangement on their own, the court is likely to approve it and will not need to be as involved in the process.

When parents cannot make a decision, the court will have to get involved. During California child custody cases, the court will examine various aspects of the family’s life to determine how the parents should raise the child. Child custody includes two categories — legal custody and physical custody.

Factors That Affect Custody Decisions

Every parent has a right to custody, but the court has the right to decide how to award custody based on the given circumstances in the child’s and parent’s lives. When discussing a parent’s rights or obligations in child custody matters, the court reflects on numerous factors to make their decision.

The court considers the following when deciding how to award custody:

  • What is in the child’s best interests

  • The child’s wishes, given the courtĀ feels that the child has reached a certain age and mature enough to make such a decision (typically 12 years old)

  • Whether there is a record of domestic violence

  • Whether there is a record of drug use

  • Each parents’ emotional and mental stability

Ultimately, the most important factor for the court is that the custody decision must be in the child’s best interests. This is the presiding factor that California family courts look at to ensure the child is placed in the best possible home.

Contact Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC Today

If you are in the midst of child custody negotiations, please contact our Murrieta child custody attorney immediately. At Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC, we provide skilled legal counseling to protect you and your family’s rights.

To discuss your child custody case, please contact our firm today at (951) 418-2770.

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