If parents can't come to an agreement, courts in California will make a custody decisions based on what's in the "best interest" of the child.

What Does the Court Consider When Assigning Custody?

When deciding which parent should have primary custody, courts usually consider the following:

  • The child's health, safety and welfare
  • The history of contact between the child and its parents
  • Which parent is more likely to allow frequent and continuing contact with the nonresidential parent
  • The metal and physical health of the parents and if there are any history of alcohol abuse or drug use
  • Evidence of child abuse
  • The child's wishes if he or she is mature enough to make them known

What Happens When the Court Has Made a Decision?

The custody order is signed by the judge and then filed with the court clerk. Both parents are bound by it. If any of the parents doesn't follow the custody order the other parent may bring the issue back before the judge who can modify it.

Should I Contact a Lawyer?

It will be vital if you have concerns about who will make decisions for you child that you get a good California attorney to help persuade the court what the right arrangement is for your child. A good child custody attorney will help you do this.