The Best Interests of the Child in Custody Cases

When the courts in California are deciding child custody for a divorcing couple, they will always try to decide in the best interests of the child. But what does this mean? How can the courts guarantee that they are making a choice that will be best for the children that they hardly know?

If you are concerned that the court will not make the proper choice, you and your spouse may want to come together and try for an amicable divorce. In a divorce of this nature, you won't have to battle over custody in court. Instead, you will be required to come up with an enforceable child custody plan with your spouse and the court will either approve or deny your plan as they see fit.

If you are not able to work with your spouse, then the court will be required to choose an arrangement that they believe is in the best interests of the child. This may mean evaluating the age of the children and each parent's living situation. In the past, courts adhered to the "tender years" doctrine that claimed that younger children should live with their mothers. While that doctrine is out of fashion, nursing babies naturally need to be with their mothers and a mother may be able to care for a toddler or young child more adequately.

The courts will also look at each parent's willingness to let the children have a relationship with the other parent, and each parent's relationship with the child prior to the divorce. In addition to this, the court will look at the children's preferences and the continuity and stability of the family. The courts may also look at the child's preferences and the continuity and stability of each home. If there has been any history of abuse in your relationship with your children, the courts will take that into account as well. Don't hesitate to contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney at the firm right away if you want more information.