Who Gets the Children in California?

Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi A Professional Law Corporation Child Custody

For those undergoing a divorce in California with children involved, you should keep in mind a few legalities. Child custody laws vary in each state. Perhaps you are planning to move out or have major life changes that may interfere with raising your children. Sometimes children prefer living with one of the parents, and other times the 50/50 child custody approach works better for everyone. Whatever your situation is, make sure you contact an experienced Thousand Oaks divorce attorney to handle your legal circumstances.

The best interests of the child

There are a few factors courts will take a look at when determining child custody. There may be one parent that encourages more interaction with the other parent and respects the child’s wishes. Courts will also consider other things such as domestic violence, drug use or a medical condition one of the parents may be struggling with.

Third party custody and visitation

A third party can be granted custody only if the children are in danger in the care of parents. Some common examples of circumstances that qualify for issuing visitation include:

  • When one of the parents dies
  • When parents are not married or in a relationship

The most important factor to consider is the wellbeing of the children. Sometimes grandparents also like to stay involved in the children’s lives. Some courts may order the visitation even when the parents don’t agree with the decision. This is especially true if the grandparents have a good relationship with the children. Some grandparents like to start a separate action while others prefer being part of the divorce proceeding.

Drug test

Parents as well as third parties may be ordered to take a drug test before making the final custody decision. Even if the party tests positive that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t qualify. However, this evidence can be used together with other factors in order to determine if the custodial parent or third party’s character is trustworthy. Past drug convictions or any evidentiary support that indicates drug abuse are also used during divorce proceedings in order to determine child custody.

Domestic violence

A parent with domestic violence records may not qualify as the custodial party. Other things the court will consider in situations like this include:

  • If the parent underwent treatment for the abusive behavior
  • If the parent took a parenting class
  • If there is protection for the victim in place
  • Other records of domestic violence

Both parents should get involved

Courts always prefer that both parents get the custody of the children. Children need both parents when growing up. Joint custody is often in the best interests of the children. However, sometimes this is not possible because some parents may not wish to work together or agree on important divorce aspects. This is when a Thousand Oaks divorce attorney come in handy. An attorney can help you navigate all the complexities of child custody and ensure the final decision is made based on the child’s best interests.

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