California law shows no preference for either parent in a custody case. Custody decisions should be made based on the best interests of the child. That said, historically, mothers have been granted custody more often than fathers, since they are often the caregivers of children rather than fathers. Parents are not automatically entitled to 50-50 custody, or to any custody order for the case.
Similarly, there is nothing in the family code that automatically grants custody to parents solely on the basis that they are the parent. The rule used by the court during a divorce is the best interests of the child. The court holds that frequent and continuous contact with both parents is in the best interest of the child. What does frequent and continuous contact mean? This is unique to each family's situation and is set out in a parenting plan that parents accept and sometimes litigate in the divorce process.
Joint legal custody in California means that parents must share decision-making regarding the health, safety, education and welfare of the child. For example, a post suggesting that you have engaged in drunkenness, drug abuse, drunk driving, or other dangerous behavior could strongly influence a judge not to allow you to have physical custody of your child. The parent who spends more time with the child than the other parent is considered the parent with primary custody. That said, the best interests of the child is always the most important determining factor in child custody during a divorce, and the court will decide accordingly.
This occurs if the court finds that there has been substantial evidence that the parent has made a report of child sexual abuse during the custody proceeding, or at any other time, and the parent knew that the report was false. Because the State of California has a strong interest in the welfare of children, parents cannot agree in advance that a child custody or visitation order will not be modified. The law states that any witness, party (which typically includes only the father and mother, but may also include others who joined in the case, such as grandparents), the party's attorney who knowingly makes a false allegation of child abuse or neglect during a child custody proceeding may be monetarily sanctioned in a reasonable amount. Similarly, a parent's medical or mental health records can become a controversial topic in a child custody case.
So what is a 730 assessment? In summary, there are several statutes that allow independent evaluations of child custody and one of them is section 730. California child custody laws are designed to provide both parents with frequent and regular contact with their children when it is in the best interests of the children. To make sure they don't forget anything, parents may want to complete the Child Custody and Visitation Request Attachment. If the child is mature enough, the court must consider the child's wishes at the end of custody.
Pride Legal's family law attorneys will achieve your child custody goals through mediation or litigation, depending on the circumstances. California's child custody laws give the court the power to issue fines, community services, and even jail time.