The state of California has laws which dictate the preference that courts should follow when determining who should have custody of minor children. The first preference is joint custody granted to the child’s biological parents. Whenever possible it is believed the best interests of the children are served by both parents sharing custody. Sometimes it is better for one parent to have sole custody and provide parenting time to the non-custodial parent.
When neither biological parent is in the position to be a good parent to minor children, the next preference the courts must consider in a custody case is “the person or persons in whose home the child has been living in a wholesome and stable environment.” This definition does not give a preference to relatives over non-relatives or to grandparents over cousins, etc. This preference simply reflects the best interests of the child continuing to live where he is already enjoying a safe environment rather than move the child to one with which he is not familiar.
If neither parent is able or willing to care for the minor children and the children are not currently in a safe environment, the court may designate custody to “any other person or persons deemed by the court to be suitable and able to provide adequate and proper care and guidance for the child”.
Getting Legal Help
Experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorney Hal Bartholomew can help you get through your divorce with respect and compassion. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP today for knowledgeable and respectful representation. Call us at (916) 546-4393.