Child Custody Cases in California

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Child Custody | 0 comments

A divorce can be a lengthy and complicated process, especially for spouses with children. Aside from the obvious emotional effects such a decision can cause, a divorcing couple will also have to deal with complications regarding child custody. They have to come to an amicable agreement, or else their custody case will be decided on by the court.

The laws regarding child custody arrangements are different depending on a couple’s state of residence. In California, family courts award custody based on several factors. Whether the judge decides on joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or sole custody, the final decision should always uphold the best interest of the child.

One of the first things that California courts consider is the health and safety of the child or children involved in the divorce. A judge will not grant custody or visitation rights to a parent who is deemed unfit. Anyone who has a criminal record for physical and sexual abuse or a history of substance abuse and addiction will be overlooked by the court. Usually, the judge will also issue a decision that limits or prevents contact with a spouse whose current partner is similarly found unfit.

California law also requires that the court take into consideration the decision of a child. Typically, the court will only consider a child’s preference if he or she is of a certain age. While the law doesn’t specify a specific number, the common consensus is that an older child will be able to make an informed choice regarding their parent’s custody arrangement.

Another important consideration is maintaining the stability of the child’s environment. To uphold their best interest, the court will need to take into the account a child’s established relationship with both parents and their siblings.

All in all, California custody cases need to be determined following factors that prioritize the best interested of the child or children involved. In an ideal scenario, such cases can be easily solved and the final consensus is the best decision for every party. However, as a Manhattan Beach child custody attorney would probably put it, changes in circumstances can call for modifications to the established agreement. Parents looking to change their current custody order can contact an experienced family lawyer to learn more about their options.

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