When the relationship between you and your child’s other parent ends and you two are unable to agree on custody terms, you may task the state with determining them for you. When making decisions about child custody, the state of California refers to a specific set of factors. It uses these factors to help decide what living situation would be in your child’s best interests.
What are some of the factors California considers when awarding child custody?
The general health and safety of the child
Expect the state to consider whether you and anyone else seeking custody have the ability to create a safe, stable and healthy home environment for your child. Are your homes safe for children? Are you and the other parent able to cater to the child’s social, academic and emotional needs? Such considerations help determine whether your home environment is an appropriate one for your son or daughter.
The amount of contact the child has had with parents to date
The existing relationships that exist between you and your child and your ex and your child may also have a hand in custody decisions. For example, if you have done the majority of child-rearing up until this point while your ex has done very little, your custody arrangement may reflect this.
Whether parents have a substance dependency or abusive history
If you or your ex have a history of substance abuse, or if there is any evidence of child abuse or neglect, expect it to impact child custody decisions.
While these are some of the key areas California considers when awarding custody, other areas may also come into play and may vary based on your child’s age.