The presence of both the mother and father is crucial in a child’s life. But if things do not go as planned, and the issue of joint custody arises, the custody laws decide the outcome.
Every parent has an equal right to the custody of the child even after separation. Joint custody is usually granted if both the parents have proved to be dutiful. In California, custody laws require the child to have frequent contact with both parents. Both have to share the responsibilities of raising the child.
The best interests of the child are assessed before arranging the deal. The two main guiding policies that California law takes into account are:
- Health and welfare of the child
- The benefit of the child due to the constant contacting with both parents.
Here is a list of factors the court considers before deciding the custody share:
- Child’s health and safety– The Court may not grant custody or unsupervised visitation rights if the parent has committed some unlawful crime against the other parent. It will also be verified if there is history of child abuse.
- Preference of the child– The Court may seriously go with the child’s choice if he/she is mature and wise.
- Co-parenting skill– As per the observance regarding which parent can co-ordinate with the other parent better for the sake of the child, it may be ruled. The judge may prefer that parent.
- Environmental stability– The environment in which a child grows is a major factor. The Court will determine the child’s involvement with the siblings or other relatives. Then, it can be decided which surrounding is best for his/her mental nurture.
- Custody options– California law prefers physical and legal joint custody of a child. Of course the parents have to agree to it too. Physical custody refers to the child’s comfort in the presence of the parent. While legal custody refers to the parent’s intervention in important decisions like the child’s health, education, welfare, etc.
There is also a window open for the guardianship of a third party. If both parents pose threat to the child’s emotional or physical welfare, a relative or family friend may be awarded responsibility. They have to file for the child’s legal guardianship and will be granted.
It is a very difficult situation to handle overall. Though the California law tries to serve the most suitable decision, our efficient LDAs can be of great service to you initially. You can arrange the documents and custody forms under their guidance and then only the best can be hoped for!