Child custody is one of the most emotional and often contentious issues in many divorce cases. There are many decisions each party will have to make and issues to work through. What are some of the most important factors in a San Diego child custody case? How will these factors ultimately affect the Judge’s decision in your situation?
The overall and primary guiding principle in any child custody case in California is the best interests of the child. Ultimately, the decisions the Family Court will reach in these cases are heavily influenced by any issue which will affect a child’s health, safety and welfare.
Some of the most important factors in a San Diego child custody case are the age of the child and the relationship between each child and parent. If a child has something to say the Court will probably listen. The weight of the testimony of a child is their age, relative level of maturity and the relationship between their request(s) and what the Court perceives to be their best interests. The relationship each child shares with each parent will be carefully evaluated by the Court. How active has each parent been in the child’s life prior to the divorce? How much has each parent contributed to all aspects of a child’s life from preparing for school, transportation to and from school and external activities, participation and support of extra-curricular interests, help with homework and studying and even the presence of each parent for doctor visits, parent-teacher conferences and other important events in each child’s life.
Another of the important factors in a San Diego child custody case is the presence of domestic violence, alcohol or substance abuse. Is there any history or present allegations of abuse toward the child? If there are any instances of domestic violence in the past 5 years it will absolutely impact the Court’s decisions in a child custody case. The presence of alcohol or drug abuse or addiction will also contribute to the Court’s assessment regarding a parent’s fitness for child custody and parenting time duties.
While these are some of the most important factors in a San Diego child custody case there are many other issues the Court will consider as it approaches child custody and parenting time issues. This is why it is important to work with the experienced, proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.