As your Ventura family attorney can explain to you, California’s standard for child custody determinations is the best interest of the child, with specific emphasis on assuring the child’s health, safety, and welfare, as well as maintaining frequent and continuing contact with both parents, so long as there is no child abuse, domestic violence, or where that contact would clearly not be in the best interest of the child as provided for in California’s Family Code. Furthermore, according to the California Family Code, child custody should be granted in an order of preference and according to the best interest of the child. A competent Ventura child custody lawyer can help you understand the determination process as it relates to the particulars of your case.
In general, child custody may be sought by parents, grandparents, stepparents, or any other person who believes that he or she can give a child adequate care and guidance. That being the case,California’s Family Code prescribes a method by which the family court judge is to handle competing persons who seek custody of the child. As noted above, child custody should be given in order of preference and always in accordance with the best interest of the child. First, the court will look to give custody to both parents jointly or to either parent separately before deciding to grant custody to other persons. A Ventura family attorney can help you get the best result for your custody case.
Keep in mind, however, thatCaliforniaat this time does not establish a preference or a presumption for or against joint custody arrangements. But in the alternative, if the parents are unable to reach an agreement on child custody and visitation issues, the family court judge is allowed to make the decision with regard to parenting arrangements on a case-by-case basis in accordance with what he or she believes to reflect the overall best interest of the child.
If neither parent is awarded custody, then the court may look to the person with whom the child has been living and the stability of that home environment; then, it may look to any person deemed by the court to be able to provide adequate care for that child. In sum, the court will usually look first to award custody to the parents (according to the best interest of the child), and if they are deemed unfit, the court will then look to grant child custody to other people according to the best interest of the child.
If you need the services of a dedicated and experienced Ventura child custody attorney, call Gary Mitchell today.