California Child Custody Factors

In California, the court shall consider the following when making a custody decision:

(1) The health, safety, and welfare of the child.

(2) Any history of abuse by one parent or any other person seeking custody against any of the following: (a) Any child to whom he or she is related by blood or affinity or with whom he or she has had a caretaking relationship, no matter how temporary. (b) The other parent. (c) A parent, current spouse, or cohabitant, of the parent or person seeking custody, or a person with whom the parent or person seeking custody has a dating or engagement relationship.

(3) The nature and amount of contact with both parents.

(4) The habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol by either parent. (California Code - Sections: 3011, 3020, 3024, 3040, 3042)

In California, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they canít, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about California child custody in the California state statutes located at: