Understanding How a Judge Decides Custody
divorce is complicated and emotional, but none more so than those involving children.
Deciding who gets custody over the children is far more complex than dividing
property and assets, as it concerns the well-being of your loved ones
and can affect your relationships. If you are anxious about the process
of determining custody, our Pasadena divorce attorney can give you the
peace of mind knowing that the best interests of you and your children
are her top priority.
Our primary divorce attorney, Christine Gille, is board certified in
family law, which gives her the distinction of a legal specialist and gives you the
advantage of expert counsel. Goldberg & Gille is passionate about
helping families reach resolutions that work in the best interest of all
affected parties, especially children. Our top priority is ensuring that
a child's well-being is accommodated in family law matters, while
protecting the interests of our clients.
Factors That Contribute to Custody Decisions
In California, as well as most states, judges must prioritize the best
interests of any children and operate under the assumption that it is
optimal for parents to share joint custody. This way, a child can develop
and maintain relationships with both parents equally. However, their ultimate
decision will take into consideration each parent's ability to raise
and care for a child's safety, health, and well-being.
Judges will consider the following factors:
- Any existing risk to the child's health or safety
- Criminal history of parents
- History of abuse between parents or to the child
- Degree of change to the child's environment
- The co-parenting skills of the parents
- The preference of an older child
Essentially, unless there is a prevalent threat to the well-being of the
children, a judge will favor joint custody arrangements. Thus if you believe
that your ex-spouse is incapable of raising your children, it is paramount
that you retain the representation of a highly-skilled attorney who can
help you prove it.
What a Joint Custody Arrangement Might Look Like
In most cases, a custody battle in California will end in an order for
joint custody. This may include a parenting plan or schedule that a judge
determines; or he may allow you and your spouse to develop a plan that
works for both of you. Either way, there are a number of options for developing
a schedule that allows children to spend equal time with both parents.
A parenting plan may include:
- Alternating weeks of custody – whereby children live with each parent
every other week
- Rotations that alternate weekends – each parent would have the children
for two set week days and then spend every other weekend with them
- Alternating weeks with an overnight visit – the children would spend
a night each week with the parent they are not living with
These schedules can become complicated, for both you, your ex-spouse, and
your children, so it is essential that you and your co-parent collaborate.
If a parent becomes stubborn or lazy in adhering to the parenting plan,
you do have options for enforcing it. Additionally, if your parenting
plan becomes too difficult to follow, our Pasadena family lawyer can help you
Gain Expert Legal Representation
child custody and arranging a plan that works for you can be difficult and stressful.
With the help of Goldberg & Gille, however, it doesn't have to
be. We have the knowledge of family law and the compassion of a dedicated
law firm that you need to reach an agreeable resolution. Our mission is
to help families through difficult legal matters while mitigating any
additional stress or tension on your children. Schedule your
free case evaluation with our Pasadena divorce lawyer to learn how we can help you.
Call our firm today to get started!