Child Custody and Support
Child Custody in California is determined by the overall "best interest" of the child with an emphasis on ensuring the "health, safety, and welfare" of the child and "frequent and continuing" contact with both parents absent extenuating circumstances.
California law grants child custody in an order of preference. This means the court first looks to grant custody to both parents together or to either parent individually before considering other persons. The California Family Code permits a judge to make the parenting arrangement decision on a case-by-case basis according to what he or she believes reflects the overall best interest of the child.
Once child custody has been determined a court can order one parent to pay the other parent every month for the general needs that support a child or children. If parents cannot agree on the amount of money required to pay for the child's expenses a judge will make the determination based on a variety of factors. Child support guidelines generally depend on (1) Parents Income; (2) Number of childen; (3) Amount of time parents spend with child; (4) and Other factors.
Child custody and Support matters can be emotional and often become highly contentious between parents. Facing these issues with an inflexible adversary can make matters even worse. Due to the amount of pressures facing a parent seeking initial or alternate child custody arrangement it remains extremely important that you consult with a qualified professional who can assist you resolve these matters with as little stress and frustration as possible.