If a family law court feels that both parents can provide for the child equally, they will typically award joint physical and legal custody. The court considers custody decisions with the "best interests of the child" in mind. As part of this, they review several different elements of the family situation when making a child custody decision. Some of the factors a family law court considers include the following:
- Financial abilities
- Emotional support
- Communication skills
Courts rulings determine whether one or both parents receive physical custody, legal custody, and/or joint custody. The types of custody determine parental rights and what decisions a parent can make in regards to their child's future. In the best interests of your family, it is important that your parental rights are represented accurately and effectively. If you are preparing to confront issues in a custody decision, schedule a free case evaluation with Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC and speak with an experienced Orange County divorce attorney.
How is child custody decided?
If a parent is not able to provide for your child, do not risk a court erroneously giving them custody rights that put your child in danger. Alcohol addition, drug addiction, mental disorder, and other factors may be grounds for showing the court that a parent is unfit for custody. If the court determines that a parent is not fit to raise a child, they may grant sole custody to the other parent.
California law explains that child custody may be decided by the following:
- Child's age and sex
- Child's parental and living preference (if at least 12 years of age)
- Child's physical and mental health
- Child's living routine (home, academic, religious, etc.)
- Emotional bonds with parents
- Emotional impact of changes for the child
- History of child abuse
- Parent who may best maintain a relationship between the child and other parent
- Parent's ability to provide guidance
- Parent's ability to provide shelter, food, clothing, medical care
- Parent's lifestyle
- Parent's physical and mental health
- Quality of child's current education
Child custody arrangements can be modified at a later date at a parent's request. If there are changes to a parent's circumstances that affect how well they will be able care for their child (i.e. one parent becomes disabled, experiences an increase in their cost of living, develops a dependency on drugs or alcohol, etc.), they may request a child custody modification from the court.
Call Today to Set Up Your Free Consultation
There are situations where one parent is unfit to take care of a child and look after their best interests. If you are seeking to gain custody of your child because circumstances make the other parent ill-fitted to support your child's needs, you should contact a family law attorney. My firm can keep you informed on all of your options and guide you through the process of making child custody arrangements in the bests interests of your child.
"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.