How are child custody determinations decided?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2022 | Custody |

There are many decisions that people in California need to make throughout their lives, but some of the most important decisions people make are the decisions they make for their children. That is why out of all of the tough decisions that parents need to make throughout a divorce the decisions surrounding child custody and parenting time can be some of the most difficult.

Child custody and parenting time decisions dictate which parent will be making the decisions for the children and also when the children will be with each parent after the divorce. The decisions are made based on what is in the best interests of the children, not what is in the best interests of the parents though. To determine what is in the best interests of the children, there are a number of factors that will be analyzed.

Factors used to determine custody

These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The health and safety of the children.
  • Whether either party has committed domestic abuse against the child or other parent, which may need to be verified through reports from law enforcement, child protective services, social workers or other reports.
  • The quality and amount of contact the children have with each parent.
  • Whether either parent has verified substance abuse issues.

There is no preference for custody to be granted to a parent based on their sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. These decisions are based solely on what is in the best interests of the children.

Making decisions regarding who will make decisions for their children and when they will see their children after a divorce are not easy for parents in California. The decisions are also very fact-specific and are based on based on the unique circumstances that occurred during the marriage. Each child’s needs are different as well and people need to understand how these factors are used to make custody determinations. Experienced attorneys understand how to apply these factors and may be able to guide one through the process.