Unfortunately, not all divorces proceed smoothly. One of the most common areas of contention between parents is child custody. While California courts always urge parents to work out child custody arrangements and parenting plans themselves, sometimes litigation becomes the only option remaining.
No one wants to go to court to determine how their children should be parented, but it is an unfortunate reality in California. As family law attorneys, we have seen even the most amicable parent-to-parent relationship dissolve into chaos. If you and your co-parent cannot reach an agreement regarding child custody, we would like to offer a few tips to help you prepare for a potential courtroom battle.
-- Remember the "best interests of the child" criteria: Regardless of your preferences, California family courts will put this criterion above all else. Knowing this going in can aid in your preparations.
-- Demonstrate your parenting and child involvement: You can do this by recording your activities with your children to show your level of commitment.
-- Don't overlook witness testimony: Anytime other parties can support your parenting skills, it is good for your case. Teachers, doctors, neighbors and even family members make good witnesses.
-- Be active in your child's educational setting: Attending school activities and interacting with the people responsible for your children's education are good examples of proper involvement.
-- Quality time is good: If you can show the court that you care about the quality of the time spent with your child, you may have a few more points in your favor.
Please consider visiting our child custody web pages for more about child custody in California. We offer readers an informational frequently asked questions page that answers many of the most common questions.