One of the most challenging aspects of going through a divorce is facing the possibility that you may no longer live with or see your family every day. A custody dispute can be painful, not only for the parents, but for the children as well. Although there is a common misperception that family courts show preference to mothers, the reality is that judges will ultimately decide what is in the best interest of the children.
If you are going through a legal separation or divorce and need the legal representation of an experienced attorney for your child custody dispute, contact the support of RM Law Group, LLP. Deciding on what is the best custody arrangement for your child is a difficult matter. At RM Law Group, LLP., we make an in-depth analysis of the case in its entirety, and will vigorously work to defend your interests.
Determining Child Custody in the State of California
Today, there is no single parent that has a preconceived advantage to the custody of the child over the other. Again, courts will decide on a child custody arrangement that is based on what is in the best interest of the child. In a majority of cases, parents will be awarded joint physical custody, because this is generally considered best for the child. When an arrangement cannot be agreed upon by the parents, the court will consider a number of factors to determine what is in the child’s best interest.
Factors a Family Court Judge Will Consider To Determine Custody
When determining the type of arrangement that is in the best interest of the child, courts can consider a multitude of factors, which include:
- The parenting skills of each party
- Whether a particular parent has been consistently the primary caregiver of the children
- The household environment of each parent
- The relationships between the children and other family members
- Work schedules of the parents and how childcare arrangements can be made
- If one of more children has special needs, determining which parent is able to provide care
- The emotional stability of each parent
- The physical health and overall wellbeing of each parent
- Whether illicit drug use or alcoholism is an issue
- If the child is of a certain age, allowing the child to express a preference of residence
- History of domestic violence
- The parents’ willingness to work cooperatively
- The parents’ willingness to allow the child to have a positive relationship with each other
The Different Categories of Child Custody
When parents cannot agree on the child custody arrangement for their child, the court will make a decision for them. In the State of California, there are four different types of custody that may be chosen by a family court judge.
Sole Legal Custody:When this type of custody is granted, one parent will receive the full ability to make decisions for the child. The parent that has been granted sole custody will be able to make a decision that can impact the child’s religion, health, living arrangements, travel arrangements, and education. This is a rare and extraordinary judgement.
Joint Legal Custody:Unlike sole legal custody, joint legal custody will provide both parents with an equal opportunity to make decisions for the child. In order to achieve joint legal custody, however, both parents should maintain an open communication with each other and maintain an amicable relationship. Maintaining a good relationship will not only be beneficial for both parents seeking custody but it will also establish a healthy relationship between both parties and the child.
Sole Physical Custody:This form of custody will allow the child to live with one specific parent. This could be an advantage for the child, as it allows him or her the opportunity to maintain a consistent lifestyle. Even when sole physical custody is given to one parent, the other parent can still maintain regular visits with the child.
Joint Physical Custody:Joint physical custody allows the child the opportunity to stay with both parents as equal as possible and on a regular basis. Depending on how far apart the parents live from one another and on the location of the school the child is attending, one parent may still receive primary custody. For the most part, however, the time spent with the child will be divided among the parents.
Experienced Legal Support With Child Custody or Visitation Issues
At RM Law Group, LLP., we are dedicated to helping families who are concerned with child custody issues. Our firm understands the burden and emotional trauma that a divorce can have on young child, and it is our objective to help you and your family through this process. We are determined to help you obtain the best solution for your family’s needs so contact us today.