What factors affect child custody in California?
Family separation is especially difficult for children. However, extended custody battles exacerbate their mental and emotional distress.
To accelerate your custody battle, these are the factors that can impact child custody in California.
Your separation has likely impacted your children’s stability already. However, moving them out of the house they grew up in can cause additional stress. Therefore, many California judges are unlikely to change your children’s living situation, at least not at first, without a very good reason.
In addition, a judge will consider who else resides in the home. For example, a judge may not move a child into a home with a new stepparent or step-siblings. They also avoid placing children with individuals who face abuse accusations.
Your children’s preferences
As your children age, a judge will place more weight on their desires and opinions. Therefore, if you have a 12-year-old son who wants to live with you, the judge will take this into consideration. However, manipulation is unacceptable, and the courts will do all they can to investigate whether manipulation played a role in your children’s choices.
Domestic violence or abuse
A judge likely will not place children into the custody of anyone with accusations of domestic violence or abuse. Instead, the court will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the truth behind these allegations.
The court will also evaluate your ability to support your children. Caring for children requires significant financial and emotional investment. A judge will consider your income when determining child support, but with child support and your income, you need to have the ability to support your children.
The courts want the best interest of your children, so they also consider allegations of substance abuse. To gain full custody, make sure you can meet the court’s requirements.