Child Custody Factors For Concerned Parents 

One of the most challenging components of the divorce process involves a significant amount of emotion. A parent may try to attack the other by saying they will take the kids during the divorce process. Because many people are unfamiliar with the laws surrounding it, these threats can cause undue stress and pressure. Divorce is not an easy journey, and those sorts of comments from your spouse make it more challenging. 

Child custody is an essential aspect of any divorce case that involves minors in the state of California. To help you navigate this specific component, we want to provide you with a concise explanation of the child custody process. If you are a parent who is concerned about losing your children, we want you to take some comfort in knowing that the court will act in the child’s best interest. Loving parents should be a part of their children’s lives. That said, we will outline the types of custody in California, what factors a court will use to decide custody, and why a person would be awarded sole custody of a child. 

Types of Child Custody

Let’s circle back to the “threat” discussed in the previous section. When a person says they will get custody of their child, it overlooks that there are two types of custody. There is a stark difference between legal custody and physical custody. However, both must be addressed during the divorce process. Legal custody refers to the responsibility and right to make child welfare decisions. This extends to deciding where the child goes to school, the type of medical care they will receive, and their religious upbringing. Parents can split this right 50/50, and when they cannot agree on an issue, there are forms of dispute resolution they can pursue. 

When parents evenly divide legal custody, they still have to work through physical custody. This speaks to where the child will reside and who will care for the child daily. This, too, can be split 50/50. Some parents divide legal custody evenly (decision-making) but have equal time with the child. 

Legal and physical can be joint, which means they are shared between both parents—or one parent could have sole custody. In contrast, one parent has exclusive rights. Knowing the difference between legal, physical, joint, and sole custody is critical to understanding your rights and responsibilities as they pertain to your child. While California law presumes joint custody may be in the child’s best interest, it doesn’t mean it’s always awarded. The court weighs the above factors and may grant sole custody if it aligns better with the child’s welfare.

Factors the Court Considers

As mentioned above, the primary guiding principle for California courts in determining child custody is the child’s best interests. If it is left up to the court to decide, they will look at the child’s physical and emotional needs. The child’s bond and relationship with each parent is central to any custody decision. Additionally, the home environment and the overall stability a parent can provide, termed stability and security, play a critical role. Moreover, any record of domestic violence or child abuse is a significant consideration in these determinations.

What Should Concerned Parents Do?

For parents anxious about child custody decisions during a divorce, engaging with an experienced family law attorney is crucial. They will protect your parental rights and advise on the best steps. Open and honest communication is vital; speak candidly with your attorney about your child’s needs, parenting strengths, and challenges. It’s important to recognize that while your child’s welfare is paramount, divorces often require negotiation and compromise. Navigating the legal processes can be time-consuming, so trusting your attorney’s advice and exercising patience is essential.

Your Partner in Child Custody Matters

Navigating child custody during a divorce can be overwhelming. With emotions running high, it’s easy to feel lost amidst legal terms and the fear of an uncertain future. The Grey Legal Group, APC, guides clients through these trying times. Our team of family law attorneys can provide clarity on your rights, the options available to you, and represent you effectively in court.

If you are at the crossroads of a divorce and have concerns regarding child custody, contact us and schedule a consultation. We prioritize your child’s best interests and work diligently to ensure a favorable outcome for them and you.

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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