For many parents in California who decide to divorce or end their relationship, dealing with child custody issues can be the most challenging aspect of the process. Both parents want to remain connected to their children and often seek a significant amount of time with their kids. In some cases, parents can work together to agree to joint custody and a shared schedule that reflects the best interests of the children as well as the desires of each parent.
However, in other cases, child custody and visitation matters are difficult or impossible to resolve without active intervention by the family courts. In these cases, the court will make decisions about how the children will live with their parents and how the parents will need to establish a schedule and co-parenting plan. In reaching a child custody decision, a court will consider a number of factors, including financial and emotional stability, the presence of siblings in the home and the relationship of the child with both parents. Courts have a mandate to prioritize the best interests of the children when reaching a custody decision.
In a child custody dispute, the court will frequently look to minimize disruption to a child's life. In some cases, this could mean preferring the parent who has remained in the child's home. In other cases, the court will look toward parents' ability to maintain a stable job and income on an ongoing basis.
Parents who are dealing with a dispute over child custody and visitation may feel frantic about how to protect their bond with their children. A family law attorney may be able to provide counsel and strong representation in the courts to work to achieve the highest level of contact and time with their client's children.