When you and your child’s other parent split in California, you may need to have the state step in and figure out a custody and parenting time agreement for the two of you to follow. When making determinations about custody and parenting time, the state seeks to come up with an arrangement that is in your child’s “best interests.”
According to the California Legislature, the state considers a specific set of variables when trying to decide what type of arrangement is going to best meet your child’s needs. Some of these variables are as follows.
Your child’s health, safety and welfare
If both you and your child’s mother or father have demonstrated a desire and willingness to parent the child you share, the state may give both of you the custody and parenting time so your child maintains strong bonds with each of you. Unless there are signs indicating that time with one parent might compromise your child’s health, safety and welfare, the state may advocate for a shared custody arrangement.
Parental substance abuse
If you or your former partner have a history of abusing substances or are currently abusing drugs or alcohol, this has the potential to impact custody and parenting time. Courts may speak with law enforcement agencies, probation officers and others to assess the severity of a parent’s alleged substance abuse.
Parental physical abuse
Expect a California judge to also consider if there is any history of abuse by either parent when making decisions about parenting time and custody.
While these are some of the factors that help decide what rights you have when it comes to your child, this is not a complete list of all variables that may undergo consideration.