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How California determines the “best interests of the child”

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2022 | Divorce |

When you and your child’s other parent both want to share parental responsibilities but are not in a romantic relationship, the state may have to determine a child custody arrangement on your behalf. When doing so, the state makes decisions it believes are in your son or daughter’s best interests.

Per the California Legislature, there are many different factors that help determine what type of living situation is in your child’s best interests. Some of these variables are as follows.

The nature of the parent-child relationships, to date

The relationships that exist between you and your child and the other parent and your child thus far play a role in future custody arrangements. If both of you have a history of spending time with your child and making decisions on his or her behalf, the chances are high that you are going to continue to share these responsibilities moving forward.

The health, safety and welfare of the child

Expect the state to also consider whether each parent’s living situation is one that prioritizes the health, safety and general welfare of your child. The state may consider others who live in each home, whether the child has a safe place to sleep and so on.

Whether any history of abuse exists

Whether there is any history of a parent abusing the child, or a parent abusing the other parent or anyone else, may also impact child custody decisions.

This is a brief overview of the factors that help determine custody arrangements in California. However, this is not a comprehensive summary of all areas that may hold relevance.