While divorce is a sensitive issue for a family, child custody can be an even trickier topic. But while this can be an emotion-filled roller coaster ride for both the parents and the child, it is essential to evaluate the situation and apply what will most benefit the child and protect their safety and welfare. Therefore, judges consider several factors when handling child custody cases.
Factors based on the child’s best interest
The purpose of deciding the child’s custody is to give them a stable and secure future. That is why it is a given that the court considers several determining factors before finalizing the custody arrangement. These factors may include the following:
- The age and health of the child
- The emotional bond the child has with each parent
- Which parent is more suited to care for the child, both in terms of financial and physical capacities
- The ties the child has in their home, school and community
- Which option is best for the child in the long run
Both parents should understand that the process is not about them but primarily for the benefit of their child.
What custody arrangements are available?
There are two main types of child custody arrangements. In California, the court can award custody of the child to either parent or award shared custody. If the court gives one parent sole custody, the other parent usually has visitation rights. Although the judge has the final say, they still take the parents’ agreed-to arrangement into account.
At the end of the day, the child’s best interest will be the guiding factor for the court’s custody decision.