When it comes to the safety and welfare of children, California State laws are designed to ensure that every decision regarding the custody of child rearing is made in the overall best interest of the child. Child custody is a legal term that is most often used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child. Although biological parents are in most cases deemed best fit to make child rearing decisions, in some cases, family courts may be need to get involved to determine who is best fit to have custody of the child.
The Basics of California Custody Rights
There are two components of child custody in the State of California. The first component involves the issue of “legal custody.” This refers to the right to determine who is best to raise the child. This component often involves who is best fit to make important decisions, such as education, healthcare and religion.
The second component of child custody in California involve who should have “physical custody” of the child, meaning who will house the child and provide his or her daily care and needs. The California Court System considers various factors when making custody decision of a minor child. Some of these factors include:
- The best interests of the child
- Which parent is more likely to encourage the child to engage in frequent visits with the other parent
- What the child’s wishes are – only if the child is of a certain age and maturity level, generally older than 12 years of age
- History of domestic violence
- History of drug abuse
California laws presume that joint custody is in the best interest of a minor child. However, this presumption does not necessarily mean that a child’s time is best split 50/50 between each parent. Instead, the presumption involves designating one parent to have full custody, with whom the child lives most of the time, and the other parent having visitation rights. This arrangement presumably allows both parents to have equal say in making important child rearing decisions and the child’s upbringing.
If you are involved in a child custody battle, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced family law attorney to help ensure that you secure your child’s custody arrangements that best reflect your family’s needs. By assisting you with custody and visitation rights during your divorce proceeding, your attorney may be able to draft a parenting plan will become an integral part of the family court’s final custody order.
Call an Experienced Fresno Family Law Attorney
If you are involved in a custody battle, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to your child custody and visitation rights.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Fresno family law attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323‐5558 or (559) 449‐1447, or complete our online form.