Divorce can pit two spouses against each other as they vie for certain rights
and pieces of
communal property. Out of all the aspects of a divorce that can spark a fight and turn it into a
contest, there are none that strike as close to home as
child custody rights. In most divorces, both parents believe they are the best candidate for
raising their children and therefore should be given primary custody. But
both parents can’t be the
best, just as how both can’t be primary custodians, so what does the
court do to reach its decision?
What is Best for Your Children
California divorce courts, and really all of them across the country, prioritize
the “best interests” of children first and foremost when coming
to a decision. If a solution is inconvenient for both parents but keeps
a child happy, it will probably be the conclusion the court uses. With
this said, a child’s wellbeing is the strongest determining factor
when creating a child custody plan, but it is not the
The divorce court will also want to consider:
- Child’s age and health
- Standard of living at each household
- Income and stability of each parent
- Each parent’s criminal record
alimony is paid per month
A situation that puts undue pressure and financial strain on a parent will
likely be avoided. You could have all the best intentions and wishes for
your child but if being the primary caregiver would make your life considerably
more difficult, you might not get the custody for which you were hoping.
For example, if you work two jobs and rarely have free time, you might
not be given primary custody.
The court also has the choice to work directly with the child if they are
a teenager and have a clear understanding of the divorce’s proceedings.
While this might be uncommon, it could actually be the best way to reach
an amicable agreement, as the decision comes straight from the child’s mouth.
If you are entering a child custody dispute and don’t know where
to turn for guidance, know that our Murrieta divorce lawyers can assist
you. We have
more than 50 years of combined legal experience and a strong reputation for compassionate
advocacy, as backed by happy
client testimonials. Learn more about your options and what you should do to help you win
contacting our firm today.