Collaborative Family Law And Mediation Services

How child custody determinations are made in California

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2020 | Blog |

This blog recently discussed child custody and child custody during the holidays. Navigating child custody can be challenging for divorcing parents which is why they should be familiar with how child custody is determined. Child custody is based on what is in the best interests of the child and any child custody modifications are based on that same standard, keeping in mind that the family law and child custody process exists to serve the needs of the child.

Child custody factors

The best interests of the child always come first when child custody determinations are made. What is in the child’s best interest is determined by evaluating a list of child custody factors including:

  • The age of the child;
  • The health of the child;
  • The emotional ties between the parents and the child;
  • The ability of the parents to care for the child emotionally, physically and financially;
  • Any history of family violence or substance abuse; and
  • The child’s ties to school, home and community.

Both physical custody and legal custody of the child must be determined and both are important. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with and legal custody refers to who makes important decisions for the child including decisions concerning their education, medical care and religious upbringing.

Determination of custody

These factors are used to determine the best child custody arrangement for the child. Parents should remain focused, along with the family law court, on what is best for their child to establish a child custody arrangement that is best for the child’s overall well-being, development and safety.