Child custody is a complex legal matter that many California parents worry about when they decide to go through divorce. When parents split up, they must make difficult decisions about how and where their children will be raised. Not all parents are able to agree on child custody outcomes, and some must litigate their child custody cases in court.
When child custody matters are under consideration, there are several important factors that parents and their divorce court must prioritize. The primary concern that relates to child custody is the protection of the best interests of the children who will be impacted by the child custody decisions. This post will discuss the best interests standard and what secondary considerations must be made to ensure it is met.
The best interests standard is subjective
One fact that parents should understand about the best interests standard is that it is subjective. This means that it is tailored to the needs and interests of every child. There is no one size fits all child custody plan that will work for every family going through divorce. To establish a child’s best interests, hey court must look at many individual factors about their life and needs.
Factors relevant to child custody cases
Courts can look at factors related to both the children and the parents when making decisions about child custody cases. They can consider how old the children are and if they have any health issues that need particular care. They can look at how well the parents are willing to work together to raise their children and if the parents are capable of providing their children with the support and love they need.
Domestic violence and histories of abuse are always relevant into out custody cases. There are no presumptions that courts make regarding whether children should live with their mothers or fathers, and courts can also look at how a child’s life would be disruptive if they moved away from their community and school.
These are only a handful of the factors that may be evaluated during a California child custody hearing. Not all parents may feel comfortable dealing with these important issues on their own. They can seek the counsel of trusted family law attorneys for representation and advice during their child custody cases, and readers are reminded that this post offers no legal advice.