What to know about California child custody laws before divorce

No one can predict which California couples will stay married and which will divorce. Certain issues may increase the likelihood of the latter, however, such as infidelity, unforeseen medical crises or loss of employment. Anyone currently considering divorce as a viable option who also happens to be a parent will want to review child custody laws before heading to court.

All issues pertaining to custody, visitation and support are governed at the state level. Most states have guidelines that the court takes into consideration, but, ultimately, each issue is resolved on a case-by-case basis. There are certain general facts, however, that may be pertinent to a particular situation.

For instance, in this state, joint custody of children is an option. California also happens to be state that recognizes grandparent rights when it comes to visitation. The children's best interests are always of paramount importance to the court, and, in some situations, the court may ask children their opinions regarding a particular matter, such as whether they prefer to live with one parent over the other and why.

Once the court hands down a child custody ruling, all parties involved must adhere to the decree. That does not necessarily mean the court order will never be modified. There are many situations that may warrant modification, and in such circumstances, an experienced California family law attorney can guide a parent through the modification process. Generally speaking, when both parents are willing to compromise and cooperate, most child custody problems can be amicably resolved.

Source: FindLaw, "California Child Custody Laws", Accessed on Dec. 27, 2017

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