California child custody

When a child’s parents decide to separate, several aspects of the divorce must be addressed. One of the most important is child custody. California courts use several factors to make child custody arrangements. If you want to know how child custody is determined in California, here are a few points to know. 

Child Custody in California

Like most states, there are two types of child custody: legal and physical. With legal custody, one or both parents will have the decision-making authority for their child. They can make decisions for their healthcare, welfare, and education. 

On the other hand, physical custody will determine where the child lives. Often, these arrangements will address their daily care and primary residence. 

With both these types of custody, the courts can award them on a sole (one parent) or joint (both parent) basis. Generally, the courts will choose the joint option as it helps the child to have a healthy relationship with both parents. However, there are some situations where that is not feasible, and legal and physical custody is awarded to one person. 

What Factors Are Considered by the Courts

There are several factors considered by California courts, such as:

Child’s Age

The judge will rule in the child’s best interests in all decisions. Many times, they will consider age. For example, younger children may need a consistent custody schedule since they require a more stable and routine environment. However, with older children, the courts may allow them to express their preferences for living arrangements. 

Relationship With Parents

Along with that, the court will also evaluate the child’s relationship with both parents. If they have a stronger bond with one, then the courts may give permanent custody to that parent. 

Parent’s Ability to Provide Care

When a parent is awarded custody, they must be able to provide for their child’s physical, educational, and emotional needs. If the parent lacks parenting skills, does not have a stable home situation, or is unwilling to cooperate with the other parent, that could affect how the court views them in a custody dispute. 

History of Family Violence or Substance Abuse

If there is a history of neglect, substance abuse, or domestic violence, then the courts will not place the child in that situation. Remember that the child’s health and safety are always prioritized above all else. 

Child’s Ties to School, Home, and Community

Additionally, California courts will consider the child’s connection to their friends, family members, classmates, and community. In most cases, the objective is to avoid disrupting an established routine. 

Learn More About Child Custody in California

How is child custody determined in California? The courts will examine several factors to decide who will get legal and physical custody of their child. If you want to know more about your custody case, contact the Roberts & Zatlin Family Law Firm. For over 35 years, we have provided thorough family law services throughout California. 

Our office in Temecula extends its services to Menifee, Hemet, Sun City, Lake Elsinore, Winchester, Wildomar, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Vista, San Diego, Inland Valley, and all other parts of the state. To schedule a consultation today and receive a free initial assessment of your case, please call (951) 381-8147 today.