Practice Areas

San Diego Child Custody Lawyers

Determining Child Custody in California

One of the most emotionally wrenching aspects of a divorce and ending your marriage is the possibility that you will no longer live full time with your children. Child custody disputes can be terribly painful for parents and children alike. Although there was a time when custody of minor children was automatically given to the mother, that has changed.  If you think you may need legal representation in a child custody case, contact an experienced San Diego child custody lawyer at Boyd Law. Today, neither parent has an advantage over the other when seeking custody; the best interest of the children is the deciding factor.

Deciding on the best custody arrangement for children is complicated and requires an in-depth analysis of the relationships among family members. If both parents are equally involved in parenting, in many cases, a court will award them joint physical custody. If not, the court will look at which parent is more actively involved in the children’s day-to-day lives, and will determine if the current situation is working.

Factors the Courts Consider to Determine Child Custody

In order to determine the type of custody arrangement that will be most beneficial to a child, courts consider multiple factors, including these:

  • Whether one or the other parent has been the primary caregiver of the child
  • The parenting skills of each parent
  • The child’s closeness of the child siblings and extended family members
  • The environment in each home
  • The work schedule of the respective parents and child care arrangements in each household
  • If the child has special needs, which parent is better able to provide for those needs
  • The emotional stability and mental and physical health of each parent
  •  Whether substance abuse is an issue for either parent
  •  Depending on the child’s age, which parent he or she prefers to live with
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Each parent’s ability to work cooperatively and to promote a positive relationship with the other parent, when contact is not detrimental to the child

If the divorcing parents can’t agree on a custody arrangement, the court will order them to work with a Family Court Services Mediator, who will be examine the family situation in detail and then make custody recommendations.

Child Custody Mediation

If after mediation the parents still cannot resolve the issues of the custody dispute, they can request a court hearing, which may involve an evaluation by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other family relations professional. Because of the high cost of these proceedings, it is usually preferable for the divorcing parents to enter mediation with a positive attitude and commitment to resolving the conflict. Being represented by a San Diego family law attorney with superior negotiating skills can help immensely.

Experienced Assistance with Child Custody and Visitation Issues

At the Boyd Law Firm in San Diego, we are passionately concerned with making the divorce process as easy for the children as possible. Our experienced San Diego family law attorneys and staff, along with our investigators, forensic accountants, family relations professionals, mental health experts, and trained staff will help you determine the best solution for your unique family situation, with the best interests of your children in mind. To learn more about how we can help you resolve issues surrounding child custody, visitation, and support, call Boyd Law today to arrange a complimentary consultation.