How will my kids’ futures be decided in our California divorce?
It is probably the number one question on your mind. You want to make sure they are okay. You want to try to protect them from life getting worse just because you and your spouse no longer can remain in your marriage.
Life can be good for your kids, even healthier and more secure. Divorce doesn’t forever harm the well-being of your children. Still, we understand that you have concerns. What custody arrangement will result from your divorce? How do California family courts handle the child custody decision-making process?
California’s family courts prioritize the well-being of the children in all child custody cases. Parents’ desires won’t necessarily be ignored, but every parent’s desire does not match up with what is in the best interest of a child or the children.
Some parents are not fit to parent. In some cases, both parents are entirely fit. No matter the unique family situation, a divorce necessitates the evaluation of each parent’s fitness and what will best serve the kids. If parents cannot agree on a custody plan, then they will be ordered to custody mediation involving a licensed professional. The following are some aspects the court will look at when determining a child custody arrangement:
· What are the parent/child bonds like in the family? Is one parent quite distant from the kids?
· Has one parent done more of the primary caregiving for the children? Has the other done little of the caregiving duties?
· Does one parent have a history of alcohol and/or substance abuse?
· Does one parent have a history of engaging in violence or other criminal activity?
· Would giving one parent physical custody of the child remove that child from a secure and established community? Would that removal be harmful to the child’s well-being?
Do you have other concerns about the well-being of your children that you need help aggressively addressing? If you have passionate arguments about what custody details would be best or harmful for your family, voice them to a trusted divorce lawyer now. An attorney experienced in child custody matters will know what questions to ask and arguments to present in order to help create the best-case scenario for you and your children.