In determining how to award child custody arrangements in a divorce or legal separation, family courts use a test known as "the best interest of the child." By establishing a method of assessing family circumstances, judges seek to make positive decisions in custody arrangements. The court examines a number of factors in order to determine what situation is most likely to benefit the child. These factors include the following:
- The child's age
- The child's relationship with parents/significant persons
- The child's wishes, if old enough to express
- The child's current living situation
- The stability of future living situations
Other Factors to Be Considered
The best interest of the child test seeks to account for any and all factors that may impact the child's well-being and future. Judges will consider whether each parent is able to provide for the child emotionally and whether or not parents will encourage and foster contact with each other. In some situations, it may be safer for a child to not have contact with a parent if he or she poses a threat to the child. However, there are many cases where a child loses contact with a parent because the parents are not able to cooperate amicably.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of a child often means trying to give them access to parents who are cooperative and encouraging. Judges take into account what effects a custody situation may have on the child, whether there is a history of domestic violence or other factors related to the child's environment. Remaining open and honest during divorce proceedings may help you receive a fair custody arrangement that reflects the best interests of your family.
Making Preparations for Your Custody Agreement
Whether you are preparing to negotiate custody arrangements or you are in the process of seeking custody modifications, understanding how judges make their decisions in the best interests of the child may help you obtain a fair and reasonable custody agreement. If the other parent poses a potential threat or unhealthy effect on your child, take action to present evidence in a court of law. A skilled Orange County family law attorney may be able to help you prepare your case and ensure that your family's needs are effectively addressed.
As a board-certified family law specialist, I have a strong understanding of the laws and policies that impact child custody. With more than 25 years of experience as an Orange County family lawyer, I am prepared to help you protect your family and achieve the resolution you and your child need. I am able to provide dedicated representation in a divorce procedure, as well help parents consider alternative methods of conflict resolution. Call Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC today and take steps to protect your child's future!
"I used Mr. Gibbs for my divorce. He was great, very knowledgeable and professional! He was excellent at letting me know the options I had and pointing me in the best direction. He was upfront and honest about outcomes. I was very happy with his service."Joshua Lott
"I could not have asked for a better experience in the midst of a bad situation than working with Mr. Gibbs. He was honest and fair and patient and kind."Rebecca Sterling
"He is a great family law attorney and I would definitely recommend him to a friend or family member in need."Les D.