How can I get custody of my kid in a San Diego divorce? One of the most important questions facing any parent contemplating a divorce is how often they will see their child(ren) and how to make sure they have custody. So let’s begin with a few of the basic facts. The primary principle which guides child custody and parenting time law in California is known as “the best interest of the child” standard. Simply stated, when you are discussing or working through any issue related to children during or after a divorce the best question you can ask yourself and each other is “what is in the best interests of (child’s name)?”
Let’s begin with a fairly normal scenario of two potential co-parents who have no issues with alcohol or drugs, domestic violence or criminal issues. Generally speaking, our Family Courts presume it is in the best interests of a child to regularly see both of their parents and spend roughly the same amount of “quality time” with each. Start your conversations from the point of view of the existing contributions each parent is making to the job of raising a child. What is a kid’s normal schedule? What role does each parent play in preparing a child for school, transportation to or from school or day care, extra-curricular activities, religious practices, healthcare visits and other day-to-day routines. If you want to maximize the amount of custody and parenting time with each child you will need to play an active role in every aspect of their life before and during the divorce.
Our Courts also recognize the emotional and psychological harm the child experiences during any contested custody fight. So, perhaps the first answer to the question of “How can I get custody of my kid in a San Diego divorce?” is to be a good parent and keep adult business private and protect your child(ren) as much as possible from the issues and details of the divorce itself. Anything which harms a child is not in the best interest of a child. Don’t talk negatively about your former spouse in front of any child and any attempt to interfere with the relationship between the other co-parent and one or more of your children could be viewed negatively by the Court. This could ultimately prevent you from reaching your parenting goals.
The second thing you need to know is the Court has multiple tools to allow it to gain a solid understanding of the needs of each child and the genuine capabilities and qualities of each parent. If there are genuine issues with one of the potential co-parents which could harm a child the Court must be presented with genuine substantial evidence. The Court can appoint experts to evaluate each parent and the child(ren) to provide recommendations to the Court. The Court will ultimately impose a child custody and parenting time plan upon the co-parents if they are unable or unwilling to reach a settlement on their own.
Usually, the best answer to “How can I get custody of my kid in a San Diego divorce?” is work as much as possible with the other co-parent, through negotiations or mediation, to answer the question of “what is in the best interest of the child(ren)?” and develop a parenting plan which shares time with each parent while preserving as much as possible of the existing patterns and rhythms of each child’s life before the divorce.
Child custody and parenting time issues are quite legally and emotionally complicated. You need the right answers from the experienced, proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. You need to pre-plan. You need to develop and implement strategies which will help you to accomplish your goals.
We invite you to protect your own interests as a parent and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.