Child custody is an important topic for many families, parents and children. This blog recently discussed the importance of child custody evaluations which is why it can be helpful for parents to also familiarize themselves with the factors that are used to determine child custody in California.
When determining child custody, the family law court takes a wholistic view of what is in the best interests of the child. The court uses several child custody factors to help it determine that including:
- The age of the child
- The health of the child
- The emotional ties between the parents and the child
- The ability of the parents to care for the child emotionally, physically and financially
- Any history of family violence of substance abuse
- The child’s ties to their school, home and community
Any child custody arrangement should be based on what is best for the child. Because this can look different in different circumstances, child custody factors are used to determine what child custody arrangement is best for the child in each individual situation. If the parents are unable to decide on a child custody arrangement, the family law court will help determine one.
Both physical custody of the child and legal custody of the child can need to be determined. Both can be shared or sole based on what arrangement is best for the child’s safety and overall well-being. Child custody can be emotionally challenging to navigate which is why child custody factors are important to be aware of and why it is also helpful to understand their impact on child custody decisions.