Expert Child Custody Lawyers and Attorneys in Culver City, CA

How is Child Custody Determined?

Taking an issue to family court can present different potential outcomes. Depending on each family’s situation, there are various ways to divide up the time a child will spend with their parents. These can include sole custody or joint custody.

A judge’s primary concern during a child custody hearing is the child’s best interests. When determining the best interests of the child, the judge should consider several factors that impact the child’s well-being.

These factors may include:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s health
  • The relationship of the child with each parent
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child
  • A parent’s history of substance abuse
  • A history of family violence
  • The child’s connection to his or her community
  • The child’s preference (age 14 years or older)
  • The parent’s ability or willingness to foster the child’s relationship with the other parent

Either parent can have sole custody of the child or parents may be able to work out an agreement to divide custody and responsibility. It will be up to the judge to decide the best possible outcome for the custody arrangement, based on the factors above; however, if both parents can agree on a parenting plan the judge in most cases will sign off as a Court order and implement that plan.