custody california

Getting a divorce is stressful, but when it’s clear that you and your spouse can’t reconcile your differences, it can be a good option for everyone involved. But if you have kids, navigating divorce becomes a bit harder. You need to consider their needs alongside yours. To help, California follows what’s known as the best interest standard when making custody agreements. Here’s what your California family law attorney wants you to know about this practice. 

What Is the Best Interest Standard?

The best interest standard refers to the policy that California courts try to follow when navigating child custody agreements and arrangements. In every decision the court makes, they try to keep the child’s best interests in mind. That means creating custody agreements that benefit the child rather than focusing solely on what each parent wants. 

During their review of the case, the court will consider the child’s preferences (if they’re old enough to express those preferences), their connection to each parent, and the ability of the parents to care for the child in an adequate way. 

They’ll look for evidence of a parent’s ability to provide a safe, stable, and loving environment for their child. If they notice any signs of drug use, aggression, instability, or other negative attributes, the court will take those things into consideration when making their decision. 

Joint Custody Agreements Are Possible

Though the court will always try to operate with the child’s best interest in mind, they will also take the parents’ desires into consideration. If both parents want custody of the child, are willing to work together to co-parent their child, and are confident that they’ll be able to split custody in a way that’s healthy and beneficial to their child, they may push for joint custody. 

Keep in mind that the court will always consider the child’s best interests. If they determine that one parent is better suited to raise the child, they may structure the agreement to award primary custody to that parent. 

This is why working with an experienced California family law attorney is always a good idea. They can represent your position to the court and help argue on your behalf. This increases the chances of the court issuing a child custody agreement that you’re happy with. 

Grandparents Have Rights, Too

Though the court’s primary concern is creating a child custody agreement for the parents, they also recognize that grandparents have certain rights. Grandparents can provide valuable and beneficial care and attention to children and the court may be willing to include visitation rights in their child custody arrangement. 

As with any decision, the court will consider what’s in the child’s best interest. If they determine that regular visits with their grandparents are beneficial, they’ll likely recommend those visits and create provisions in the agreement to protect the grandparents’ visitation rights.

Work With an Experienced California Family Law Attorney

If you’re worried about your custody rights, the best thing you can do is work with an experienced California family law attorney. They’ll be able to represent your interests and help you show the court why you’re a strong parent. Contact Jackman Law today to schedule a free consultation.