Key points about how child custody is determined in California

Sharman L. Brooks

Many family law issues can be in dispute during a California divorce. Frequently, one of the most emotionally challenging and contentious ones is child custody. The circumstances dictate how agreeable or acrimonious the case might be. In some instances, the parents can negotiate an agreement on their own. In others, it is more complex. Before letting the situation escalate, it is wise to have a grasp of child custody, the factors involved and the way it will impact the future.

The importance of serving a child’s best interests

There are several aspects of how a court will view a child custody case and make its decision. Of paramount importance is the child’s best interests. That will include ensuring that the child will be put into an advantageous and nurturing environment with the parents showing the ability to cooperate. The child’s health, age, if there is an emotional bond with the parents, if there were problems in the home, schooling and extracurricular activities are all considered as the case is analyzed.

Often, there is a perception that the custody decision is tilted toward one parent or the other. It is not. Gender is also irrelevant in court. The child’s best interests take precedence. Still, if there were incidents of domestic violence in the home, that will be treated seriously and will undoubtedly play a major role in the decision. With child custody, it is wise to keep the child’s needs in mind and to understand that the longer it takes to resolve a case, the more emotionally taxing and financially costly it will likely be.

Professional guidance may be beneficial with child custody cases

It is easy to let emotions hinder attempts to forge a reasonable agreement and prolong the child custody decision. Of course, if there are safety concerns, parents should do whatever they can to protect their children. Other areas of disagreement may be easier to manage. Having experienced legal guidance from the start may be essential to reach a reasonable resolution.

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