Child custody is often the foremost concern of divorcing couples who have minor children. It is also one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of a divorce. Child custody laws are determined by state statute, and it is important to under the laws in your state if child custody is expected to be one of the deciding factors in your divorce.
Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provide professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.
Types of Child Custody
Different types of child custody may be granted to divorcing parents by a family court. The court will make a decision after considering what would be in the child’s best interest. Individual preferences of a parent will be a secondary consideration, while the child’s best interest becomes the dominant factor.
Family courts usually prefer that both parents should have an active involvement in the child’s life. However, in exceptional situations, the court may grant sold custody of the child to one parent. Here are some of the important types of child custody:
This refers to the decision regarding which parent should be in physical possession of the child. Unless the court has strong reasons to believe that the child’s best interests will be served when only one parent is granted sole physical custody, this award is rarely given.
Legal custody allows a parent to make key life decisions on the child’s behalf, even if the actual physical custody lies with the other parent. If the parent is unable make these decisions or is absent, they will not be awarded legal custody in most situations.
It is the most common form of child custody in all the states. In this case, the child gets an opportunity to closely engage with both parents separately.
In exceptional circumstances, the children may be divided between the parents. The court usually would like to keep the siblings together, but in very rare cases, split custody may be granted.
Factors Court will Consider for Custody
Sometimes it may not be simple for the court to determine what is in the best interest of the child. In these situations, a social worker or psychologist may be enlisted to evaluate the child so that the court can make an informed decision. In general, the court will consider the following factors while determining custody:
- Personal preference of the child (child above a certain age)
- Parents’ physical and mental health condition
- Whether one of the parents has a confirmed problem of substance abuse
- How well a parent has adjusted into the community
- Whether the parent is in a position to provide a stable and secure upbringing to the child
- Whether the child will be able to interact with other family members and relatives
- Cultural and religious considerations
Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.
For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here.
SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.