If you are currently in the process of a divorce, then you may be concerned about the future of your children. You want to keep your children with you, but your ex-spouse may also want to have custody of them.
How Child Custody Is Decided in California
The California courts will award both joint and sole custody to spouses depending on a variety of factors. First of all, the courts look at the preference of the child. If the child strongly favors one parent over the other and is old enough to make this choice then chances are that the court will heavily evaluate this.
Many teenagers are even given the ability to decide for themselves which parent they would prefer to remain with. Also, the courts will look at the desire and ability of each parent to allow the child to have an open and loving relationship with the other parent. This means that, if one parent indicates that she will ostracize the children from their father or mother, then that parent will not be favored in the court room.
The California courts want to do all that they can to make sure that a child can maintain a relationship with both parents when that relationship is appropriate. The courts will also evaluate the child's health, safety, and welfare in both homes. This means that they will look at factors such as the health of the property and whether or not a parent will be exposing the children to drugs or secondhand smoke.
The court will then evaluate the child's contact with both parents and the nature of this contact. Lastly, the court will evaluate the history of alcohol and drug use among the parents, and the nature of the marital misconduct that broke the divorce.
Want to learn more? Contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney and fight for your right to care for your children!