Factors Used to Determine Child Custody


If you are seeking a Pasadena divorce, you might be wondering how the court determines custody of children from your marriage. If you and your ex do not agree on child custody, there are a number of factors the court will use to determine who is granted custody of the children.

The health and safety of the child are the primary factors in determining custody. A parent with a history of past child abuse will not be granted custody or unsupervised visitation. A parent with a drug problem or a mental illness that affects his or her ability to care for the child will also be considered a poor candidate for child custody.

Ideally, a child with divorced parents should be allowed to maintain a relationship with both parents. Therefore, the courts will give preference to the parent who they think is most likely to support a co-parenting arrangement. If you are in the middle of a custody battle, the best thing you can do for yourself is to show the judge that you are committed to helping your child maintain a positive relationship with your ex despite your own personal feelings.

A child's opinion regarding custody may be considered by the judge, but there is no magic age at which a child will be allowed to determine where he or she wants to live. The judge will consider the maturity of the child and whether or not there is reason to believe the child has been pressured into choosing one parent over the other when determining how much weight to give to the child's wishes.

Siblings are generally kept together unless there are special circumstances that would require them to be separated.

Courts do not consider gender as a factor in determining who is given child custody, but continuity and stability are considered. A young child is believed to do best when allowed to continue the bond established with a primary caretaker. Women tend to be the primary caretakers of children, but a man who has been actively involved in caring for his child has a good case for being granted custody as well.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal assistance regarding a child custody issue, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our attorneys have the skills and experience needed to answer any questions that you might have regarding family law in Pasadena.