When divorcing, parents typically want to do everything possible to protect their kids and protect the relationship that they have with their children. They may want a specific custody outcome, and in some cases, it is possible for California parents to work together to reach an agreement that will be suitable for both sides. Whenever going to court over child custody, negotiating terms of a custody order or considering parenting plans, the main motivation should be to protect the best interests of the child above all else.
However, there are times when there is disagreement over what, exactly, is best for the kids. When this occurs, parents may have to go to court to resolve their divorce disagreements and seek the court’s input on a final custody and visitation order. When courts are considering these issues and making important decisions that affect the family, they will place a priority on protecting the needs of the kids above all else.
Factors that the courts will consider
You may have a specific idea of what you believe will be in the best interests of your kids. However, your spouse may not agree with you. He or she may want a different outcome, and you will likely have to go to court to seek resolution to these matters. When hearing custody cases, family courts make decisions by considering the following factors:
- The strength of the relationship the child has with both parents
- The wishes of the child
- The mental and emotional health of both parents
- Special needs of the child and how parents help with that
- Any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse by either parent
- Religious or cultural considerations
- Ability of parents to provide a stable home environment
- Any allegations or known patterns of domestic violence
With any custody decision, the best interests of the child will be the primary factor and main motivation behind any determinations made by the court.
Protecting your parental rights and interests
You do not have to navigate a complex custody situation on your own. You will benefit from seeking knowledgeable guidance regarding your legal options and how you can fight for your desired outcome to your custody case. With the right insight and support, as well as a focus on the needs of your children, you can better fight for both your parental rights and the best interests of your kids.