The judges evaluating any custody cases in California must consider the best interests of the affected child. They must conclude how separating parents should share their time with their children. Both parents begin their jobs with equal rights, while judges cannot prefer either guardian based upon their sex.
During the determination of the children's best interests, the California laws have been able to specify various guiding policies:
1. Safety, welfare and health of the children must be the court's primary concern
2. Children's benefit from the continuing contact between both parents
Having put the parameters of the two factors in place, judges can consider any factor relevant to best parenting while considering all the other circumstances of each case.
Health and Safety
There are certain factors that the California courts must consider that affect child health and safety. They include, the judges might not grant visitation or custody to the father of the child who was due to the father's rape to the mother.
The law also prohibits the judges from granting unsupervised visitation to a parent who has ever committed first-degree murder to the child's other guardian or has been involved in any sexual or physical child abuse. This decision can only be altered in writing when the judge finds out that the parent does not pose any risk to the child. The letter must also explain the reasons for the visitation.
California court can limit the visitation or custody for any parent who has been engaged in partner or child abuse.
Other factors that relate to a child's health or safety are alcohol abuse or illegal drug use. The judge may allow visitation in a written report and must be signed by a medical or rehab facility or a state agency.
The California child custody law requires every court to consider a mature child's wishes, provided he has the required intelligence to make choices. The law does not give any particular age, but the child's maturity will influence the judgment.
The California courts' judges should also consider the parent would encourage a positive relationship that includes continuing and frequent contacts between the children and the other parent. Any parent whose actions can interfere with a child's relationship with the other parent will not get a chance to stay with the child.
Continuity and Stability
Even during extraordinary situations, judges will help to keep siblings together. Their favor must have to favor continuity and stability in the affected child's environment.
The child's custody will also consist of legal and physical custody. Legal custody will refer to the parent's mandate to participate in significant decisions that affect the child's education, health, and welfare. In contrast, physical custody will refer to the child's presence with the parent.
The joint custody will mean that both parents have each period of physical custody, which will not necessarily have equal amounts of time. Parents can agree on physical custody. California laws will favor both custody when the parents agree with it. When the parents disagree about it, the court will have the mandate to offer broader discretion possible and be based on their best interests. These are some of the most important things to consider before filing for a divorce.
Have questions about the California custody process? Marmolejo Law, APC is here for you. Call our Marina Del Ray child custody attorney today at (310) 736-2063 to discuss your case.