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How child custody is determined in California

Understanding child custody factors that form the basis for child custody decisions can be helpful for parents divorcing in California to understand. Child custody determinations are always based on what is in the best interests of the child which is determined by evaluating different child custody factors.

Factors used to determine child custody

Several factors will be evaluated to determine what would be the best child custody arrangement in each child’s particular situation 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;
  • The child’s ties to school, home and their community; and
  • Any history of family violence or substance abuse.

These factors are used to develop a child custody arrangement during the divorce process that meets the needs of the child and ensures their overall safety and well-being are provided for. Both physical and legal custody of the child will need to be determined which refers to who the child lives with and who makes important decisions for the child. Of course, developing a parenting plan and visitation schedule is also part of what divorcing parents will need to work out always with the best interests of the child in mind.

Remember that you may need professional guidance

The best interests of the child always comes first when deciding on a child custody arrangement and is the guiding consideration for the family law court and should be for divorcing parents as well. To help them navigate the child custody process, divorcing parents should be familiar with how child custody is determined with their child’s best interests in mind.