In California, the court establishes child custody assignments when parents cannot reach an agreement. When a divorce trial is necessary to settle all disputes, the court schedules the custody hearing separately. The judge renders a decision about custody after evaluating each parent. A family attorney in Lake Elsinore helps parents fight for custody of their child through legal proceedings.
Evaluating the Income of Both Parents
The first aspect considered by the court is the income of the parent. This doesn’t indicate that the court rules in favor of the parent who earns the most money. They evaluate their income and work history to determine what parent has more stable ones. The parent who receives custody must have the capacity to provide for the child and ensure that their needs are met. An evaluation of the parents’ income levels also determines the value of child support payments ordered.
Reviewing Existing Relationships and Connections to the Child
The court must determine if the child has any existing relationships or connections that are valuable to them. For example, if the child has attended the same school throughout their whole lives, they have established friendships. Separating the child from this could prove devastating and against their well-being. If the parents live in different cities, the judge may rule in favor of the parent who can allow the child to continue these connections.
Conducting a Home Study
A home study is conducted to evaluate any risks present in the parents’ homes. If the social worker finds any, they are reported to the judge. A history of substance abuse or alcoholism could persuade the judge to rule in favor of the opposing party.
California divorce cases may require a trial to settle them. When this occurs, the judge must determine what parent is the most appropriate for the child. Factors that play a role in these determinations include income, stability, and the area in which they live. Parents who need assistance in fighting a custody battle should contact a family attorney in Lake Elsinore through the Law Office of Michelle Penna, or click here for more information now.