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Looking at best interest factors in California custody cases

Working with an experienced attorney is important when dealing with any number of family law matters, but this is especially the case when it comes to custody disputes. For one thing, the issue of custody is a particularly important one to parents, and it is important to have a strong voice in the process.

Another reason for the importance of legal guidance and advocacy in child custody disputes is that judges enjoy a great deal of discretion in making custody determinations. The latitude of decision-making that judges have with respect to custody means that a strong advocate can help shape the considerations that go into a decision.

Under state law, the most central consideration judges look at in custody cases is the best interests of the child. This term, which our readers have no doubt heard at some point, encompasses a constellation of factors, including the health, safety and welfare of the child, as well as any history of abuse in the family, the nature of the child’s relationship each parent including the nature and amount of contact, as well as any drug and alcohol addictions.

Other common points of consideration are the employment and financial situation of each parent, the desirability of changing the child’s current place of residence, and perhaps even the child’s reasonable preferences. Strictly speaking, custody decisions are not about what the parents want, but what is best for the child. Still, parents have the opportunity to present their case in court. Having a strong advocate at one’s side can help ensure that the judge considers all relevant factors.

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