Above all else in a child custody case is the best interests of the child. No matter what decision is handed down by a family court judge, it will always be in the best interests of the child. But what exactly does this mean in the context of your case, and what goes into determining what is in the best interest of the child?
California law has two guiding principles when it comes to determining the best interests of the child. Whatever decision is made about custody or sharing your child’s time, the court’s primary concern must be the health, safety and welfare of the children. In addition to this concern of well being for the child, California law also emphasizes that children benefit from frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Using this as a basis, a California family court judge must consider all other relevant factors for each individual case when making a decision about custody and visitation.
What exactly may be relevant in determining the best interests of the child? Some typical factors include:
This is not an exhaustive list of factors but it does show what a typical family court judge will consider in making their decision. Some factors may be more important than others. How each factor is weighed will be dependent on each child’s individual circumstances. For example, if one parent has a history of abusing the child, this will most likely be weighed heavily in determining their custody or visitation rights as it directly affects the health and safety of the child.
No one can say for sure how a judge will rule in a custody case, but sitting down with a California family law attorney familiar with custody cases can give you guidance and advice that you need. Custody cases can often be heated with emotions running high. Having an experienced attorney by your side is a necessity when it comes to giving your child the best life possible. The office of Charles D. Stark can help you with your child custody and give you the representation that you need. Contact us at (707) 527-9900 or visit us online.