It is often stated the best interests of the child is what drives decisions made in family courts. However, the specifics as to how the best interests of the child are decided may be a mystery to some. While every child custody case in California is as unique as every child, there are certain factors that will help family court judges figure out exactly what is best for the child involved.
One very important factor is the relationship the child or children already have with each parent. A judge will determine the status of that relationship and factor it into a final decision. Additionally, the specifics of home life, such as the presence of any abuse or domestic violence, will play a deciding role. Any ties the child may have to the community can impact how a judge decides custody.
Other factors will also influence these decisions. For instance, the age of the child will be considered. Furthermore, each parent will need to show that he or she can provide for the child, including providing basic necessities, schooling and healthcare.
Family court issues pertaining to child custody can be emotional and on-going as parents try to reach an initial agreement or modify an agreement made years ago. Each situation may require investigating the details of legal and physical custody and the unique circumstances that impact each case. Our website has more information for parents in California who are in the midst of custody issues or may need representation as a new agreement is sought.