What you should know about child custody in California

Divorcing parents have many concerns, the most important being “where will my child live.” Facing child custody questions is one of the most challenging moments a parent can go through, but you don’t have to do it by yourself.

At Envision Family Law, we represent people across California in need of answers to their child custody questions, like:

Can I get sole custody of my children?

It is possible to receive total physical custody of your children, but this is rarer now than it had been previously. California often allows for sole physical custody but prefers a legal custody agreement between co-parents. However, if you prove that there are real safety concerns in a joint custody arrangement, you may have a chance at getting sole legal custody.

How is child custody determined?

The court’s top priority in a custody determination is “the best interests of the child.” That means looking at the children’s:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Resources
  • Education
  • Family connections

If the court finds substantial evidence that one home cannot provide basic safety or child-care needs, it may consider a sole custody agreement. There are circumstances where the child’s best interests may call for a guardianship in which neither parent has custody.

Can I modify my custody orders?

If you wish to pursue a change in custody arrangement, you can. Modifications of any divorce agreement are possible. However, a change will require you to prove that it is necessary to revisit these agreements.

Can my children choose where they live?

Once children reach the age of 14, they can tell the court where they prefer to live. Even children at younger ages can express their preference. However, the final decision in both cases is with the court, which must look at the child’s best interests first.

Child custody matters require specific answers.

In any custody arrangement, your circumstances may make a much more significant impact than you expect. You can find the answers you need.