A divorce is a devastating event in the world of a California family. While the parents must work through the complicated steps of separating their lives, their children must learn to live new lives that place their parents in different households. Because divorce can be hard on youths the courts and their parents are required to preserve the children’s best interests when making decisions about their custody and care.
The best interests of a child are subjective and may look very different based on unique factors specific to the child or children in a particular custody case. For example, when evaluating how to establish a custody plan a court will consider the age of the child or children shared by the divorcing parties and the emotional connections that each of the children has with each of their parents.
Also, courts will address specific health concerns or needs of the children. If a child suffers from an illness or condition and one parent is better suited to provide care in that capacity then a court may consider that factor in favor of placing the child with that parent.
Courts do not look to upset the lives of children when they make custodial decisions and for that reason they will look into ways to keep kids at their regular schools and connected to their familiar communities. However, a court that finds a history of violence or abuse associated with one parent will consider that important factor when making a final determination.
A child’s best interests will depend on their unique characteristics. Courts therefore must view each child custody case on its merits to ensure children’s needs are met. Parents and their legal representatives can advocate for their children’s interests as well as these matters are addressed in court.