California law does not show preference to mothers or fathers in matters related to child custody; rather, the law directs courts to make these determinations in the “best interests of the child.” Nonetheless, rightly or wrongly, fathers often feel that they are at a disadvantage when it comes to issues regarding child custody and child support. At Razai & Nefulda, APC, we are dedicated to helping fathers assert their parental rights and we work hard to ensure that our clients’ child custody disputes are resolved as favorably as possible.
California law splits custody into two distinct types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions regarding the way a child is raised, and courts may order either sole or joint legal custody. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to the place where a child will live. Similarly, courts can award one parent sole physical custody or establish an arrangement in which parents share physical custody of the child.
Determining a Child’s Best Interests
Judges have significant discretion in determining a child’s best interests. Some of the factors that a court may consider when making this determination include the following:
- The child’s age
- The preference of the child, if he or she is old enough to express a meaningful preference
- The duration and adequacy of the child’s current living arrangements and the desirability of maintaining continuity
- Any history of domestic violence
- The ability of the parents to cooperate in child care
- The stability of any proposed living arrangements for the child
Importantly, courts may consider any other factor that may have a reasonable bearing on the psychological and physical well-being of the child. For this reason, it is critical for any father involved in a child custody dispute to retain an attorney that is familiar with California custody law and who can present his case in the best light possible to the court.
Ready To Talk With An Attorney?
Contact our office to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to learn more about the options available and if an annulment is the best option for you. Initial consultations are completely free and will leave you better informed and prepared for whatever you decide to do.