Judges-Preference System Followed for Child Custody Awards

When dealing with child custody issues, a family law lawyer can be essential to preserving the parental rights of an individual. However, it is necessary to realize that just because a parent has a family law attorney, it does not guarantee that a judge will render a decision awarding custody in their favor. One thing to consider is that more often than not a judge has an order of preference to follow regarding the award of custody.

Judges are encouraged to award joint custody above anything else. If joint custody is not found to be in the best interest for the child, then a judge awards custody to one parent. The parent who is awarded custody is deemed to be more likely to facilitate child visitation and thus is rendered the better candidate. If a child is already under the custody of another individual, then the judge can award non-parent custody to that individual. In situations where a child is living with one or both parents but neither parent is considered fit to care and guide the child, then suitable person custody is awarded to another individual who the court finds suitable.

One factor to consider is that although a judge has a tier system to follow when awarding custody, the best interest of the child is first and foremost.  This precedent is set by the California Family Code. Since the child’s well being is important a judge has to determine whether an individual who has history of child abuse, violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or any criminal activity is fit, a judge will be reluctant to issue custody to a parent or individual who has history for any of these issues. When awarding custody, the judge also has to consider the household where the child will be living. Hence, the judge also takes into consideration the individuals living in a household.

Due to this tier system and the several factors judges consider when awarding child custody, family law layers are encouraged to reach a stipulation on child custody. Having an agreement beforehand can facilitate and speed up the child custody proceeding.

To speak with one of Ideal Legal Group’s family law attorneys, contact us today by calling (626)569-1882.