Determining Child Custody in Contested Divorces

Child custody can be one of the most complicated matters to address during divorce—especially when the divorce is contested. When determining child custody terms, the court will primarily focus on the best interests of the child.

Amongst the relevant factors that the court must take into consideration, the following must be addressed:

  • The health, safety and welfare of the child.
  • Any history of child abuse by a parent or another person that is seeking custody.
  • The environment must be stable.
  • Strong conservation of sibling relationships, in an effort to prevent the separation of siblings.
  • The court must consider and give due weight to the wishes of children who are of the proper age and capacity to do so.
  • If any violent crimes have occurred, custody will be restricted or visitation will be conditional. Examples of this may include:

- A parent that is registered as a sex offender or has been convicted of specified child abuse offenses

- If the child was conceived by rape

- If the parent was convicted of first degree murder of the other parent

- If the parent has a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse

If you are going through a contested divorce and need legal counsel for a child custody matter, our team at Claery & Hammond is prepared to assist you. For more information about the representation we may be able to provide you with, do not hesitate to contact our divorce attorneys in Los Angeles today.