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Child custody issues California parents might face in divorce

When California parents decide to divorce, they must resolve numerous issues, including many that relate to their children. Like most parents, the court has children's best interests in mind, especially when ruling on child custody or support matters. In a typical case, a family court judge favors joint physical and legal custody, though it is not appropriate in every situation. 

There are multiple reasons why a judge would rule in favor of a sole custody arrangement. If a parent believes he or she has grounds for seeking this type of custody, a petition must be filed in court to make a formal request. From there, the judge in question will carefully review the request and will want to hear and see evidence with the focus always centered on the best interests of the child.

For instance, if a parent provides evidence that a co-parent has a significant substance abuse problem, the court might rule that a sole custody arrangement would be best under the circumstances. In such situations, the noncustodial parent may still be awarded parenting time, though if there's evidence of potential harm to the child it may be limited to supervised visits. Court orders may be issued on a temporary basis, with parenting time even conditioned on an alcohol or drug-addicted parent to enter a rehabilitation program.

Child neglect or abuse are also legitimate reasons to request sole custody. Such an order might pertain to physical custody only or might also include legal custody, which refers to the authority of a parent to make decisions on behalf of a child. An experienced California family law attorney can answer questions and provide support to any parent concerned about child custody issues.

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