Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Protecting California Families
Child custody disputes necessitate a wide array of difficult decisions, including those involving legal and physical custody and whether to pursue sole or joint custody. Keep in mind that, regardless of the condition of your relationship with your spouse or other parent, a California judge will weigh the best interests of the child above all else.
Best Interests of the Child
California judges must consider the best interests of your child when ordering a child custody arrangement. You and your spouse each initially share equal rights to custody — judges are prohibited from giving a preference to either parent based on gender and ethnicity.
When it comes to evaluating the best interests of your child, California judges must consider the health, safety and welfare of your child, as well as the benefit that frequent contact with both parents would have on them.
When a parent has the right to have a child live with her or him, they have physical custody of the child. Custody can be sole or joint, either of which may have any range of time shared between the parents.
Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility to make decisions about a child’s lifestyle and upbringing. The child’s education and religious beliefs are both examples of the type of decisions a parent with legal custody will be entitled to make. Generally speaking, California judges prefer to have these questions addressed by both parents.