What is the “best interests of a child” in a North County or Carlsbad child custody or parenting time case? Child custody and parenting time issues are associated with parents in a divorce, as well as unmarried parents in a paternity action. Child custody in California is legally divided into two forms of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody is the right to have a child or children live with you and legal custody is the right to make important decisions regarding a child’s life including but not limited to:
The best interests of a child are encapsulated in California’s family law code and establish the primary instructions for our Judges in these cases. Generally speaking, our laws surrounding the best interests of a child establish:
- The children’s health, safety, and welfare are a top priority
- Children should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents are no longer together
- parents should share in the rights and responsibilities of raising the child
What happens if continuing contact with a parent is not in the best interests of a child? Typically, in Carlsbad divorce cases and post-decree child custody and parenting time cases where there is substantiated drug abuse (not simply drug use), severe mental illness, a Court finding of Domestic Violence, criminal activity or some similar danger to a child, the Court will find that it is not in the child’s best interest to have frequent and continuing contact with a parent.
In these cases the Court may mandate supervised visitation or a Judge may award sole physical and legal custody to one parent over another.
What is the “best interests of a child” in a North County or Carlsbad child custody or parenting time case? We invite you to speak with one of our Certified Family Law Specialists and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation.