When it comes to divorce, one of the most stressful and emotionally draining aspects centers around child custody. In the Golden State, the courts focus on the best interests of the child. From sole to joint custody, the state has several types of arrangements. California law recognizes a few factors in these decisions. If you would like to learn more about California child custody in a divorce, here are a few facts you will want to know. 

child custody

Types of Child Custody Arrangements in California

Like most states, California places child custody into two categories: legal and physical custody. With that, these arrangements can be divided into other joint or sole custody agreements. 

Legal Custody

With legal custody, one or both parents have the authority to make major decisions about the child’s:

  • Healthcare
  • Religion
  • Education
  • General welfare

If the court awards sole custody, single parents can make these decisions. In the case of joint legal custody, both parents take on the responsibility.

Physical Custody

These arrangements determine where the child will live. In some cases, one parent has the primary physical custody of the child. That is known as sole custody. With that, the other parent will have visitation rights. 

On the other hand, joint physical custody allows the child to split time with both parents. With this arrangement, the child continues to have an ongoing relationship with each parent. 

Typically, California courts are inclined to award joint physical and legal custody when it is in the child’s best interests. 

California Child Custody Factors 

California family courts consider a wide range of factors when making child custody decisions. These elements determine what arrangement best serves the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs. Some of the key aspects include:

Child’s Age and Health

The age and overall health of the child are important factors. Younger children may need more stability and consistent routines. On the other hand, older children may have preferences that the court will take into consideration.

Parent’s Ability to Provide

The court evaluates each parent’s ability to provide the child with a stable and loving environment. This often includes assessing the parent’s financial stability, housing, and support systems. Along with that, the courts may look at the parent’s work schedule to make sure they can provide a stable home for the child. 

Relationship with the Child

California courts analyze the child’s attachment and potential for creating a strong parent-child bond in these cases. The history of parental participation and caregiving for the child also has a powerful role in these custody choices.    

Domestic Violence or Substance Abuse History

The courts never want to jeopardize the health or welfare of a child. For that reason, if a parent has a history of violence or substance abuse issues, that may be enough to award physical and legal custody to the other parent. 

Learn More About California Child Custody and Divorces

Child custody in California focuses on the child’s best interests. Whether you want a joint arrangement or seek sole legal custody, you need a legal team to help with these issues. At Roberts & Zatlin Law Office, we have helped couples and families learn about their options 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.

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