When it comes to child custody cases in California, the ” best interest” of the child is always the primary consideration. This means that the court will look at a variety of factors to determine where a child will thrive.
The child’s age
A child’s age at the time of the divorce plays a considerable part in determining which parent will be the best caretaker. If the child is not yet weaned, it is usually in their best interests to remain with their mother, especially if breastfeeding. However, when the child is older, the court may consider factors like relationships, financial stability, and criminal record to determine where to place the child.
The child’s relationship with each parent
It’s common for children to have a stronger bond with one parent over the other. This means if the child has a strong relationship with their mother and none with their father, the court will consider awarding primary custody to the mother. The courts may consider joint custody if the child has a strong bond with both parents.
The child’s preferences
Children’s preferences will play a more significant role in custody decisions as they age. For instance, if the child is 12 and wants to live with their father, the court will consider that.
The child’s needs
A child’s needs include which parent can provide the child with the best education, healthcare, and overall quality of life. Of course, this means that the family law court will also look at each parent’s financial situation.
The parent’s conduct and criminal history
Many parents often get concerned that the court will use their criminal history against them in child custody cases. However, it’s important to remember that the court is only interested in crimes that would harm the child. For instance, if one parent has a history of domestic violence, that would be negatively considered by the court.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that the court will consider when making a child custody decision. It’s important to remember that the goal is to ensure the child has a safe, stable, and loving home environment. So, if you’re going through a child custody case, keep that in mind.