2011: What Are The Factors San Diego Superior Court Judges Consider In A Divorce, Legal Separation Or Paternity For Child Custody Orders?

In San Diego, if parents disagree on the custody orders, a San Diego Superior Court Judge will make an order. If you are going through a divorce, paternity or legal separation case, it is very important to understand what factors the Judge will consider in making their decision. In any legal separation, divorce or paternity, the issue of child custody can be the most important order the San Diego Superior Court Judge makes. Below is a list of factors but this is not all inclusive.

Under California law, a Judge will consider in a divorce, legal separation or paternity, what is in the best interests of the child or children. There are many factors and, under the law, below is a partial list: health, safety and welfare of the child; any history of abuse by one party against any child related by blood or affinity or caretaker relationship or the other parent or a spouse; the nature and contact amount with both parents; continual or habitual use of illegal controlled substances or alcohol or any other relevant factors which go to the best interest of the child or children.

There is a public policy codified in California law which defines the legislative intent towards parental contact. These factors include that, as above, the health, safety and welfare of the child or children shall be the primary concern of the Judge in determining the best interests when making any orders regarding physical and/or legal custody and visitation. There is a finding that any domestic violence or child abuse where a child or children reside is determined to be detrimental and not in the best interests. In addition, public policy is that there should be frequent and continuing contact with bot parents after the dissolution or separation and parents are encouraged to share the responsibilities and rights of raising their children with the exception of when this would not be in the best interests.

As to the order of preference for custody, this is according {again} to the best interests and shall be jointly to both parents with the Court considering which parent [among other factors] is the most likely to promote and encourage frequent and continuing contact with the non custodial parent. A Judge may not prefer a parent for preference of custody based on gender. In some cases, a Judge will not place with either parent but this is not the norm in San Diego.

If you are going through a contested custody and/or visitation case in San Diego and need legal representation, please feel free to contact us for a confidential consultation.

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