Facing Divorce? See what steps you can take to protect what's yours.
Divorce Home » Divorce Laws in Your State » California

California Child Custody

After filing divorce, the couple will need to figure out child custody.

Protect your relationship with your child during divorce.

If it's possible, the parents can work together and negotiate a parenting plan with their divorce lawyers; however, if child custody is left up to the California divorce court to determine, state divorce laws outline the following factors for the court to consider:

  • Health, safety and welfare of the child
  • Any history of domestic violence by the parent seeking custody against:
    • The other parent
    • Any related child or child the parent has established a caretaker relationship
    • A parent, current spouse, cohabitant or significant other
  • Amount of time spent with the child and nature of the contact
  • Habitual or continual use of alcohol or drugs

Typically divorce courts like to assign joint child custody so the child can continue a relationship with both parents, but the most important issue in determining child custody is what's in the best interest of the child.

A local divorce lawyer can explain to you how the circumstances of your case can affect child custody arrangements. Connect with a divorce attorney near you to learn more about child custody laws in your state.

Call 877-349-1310 or fill out a California divorce case review form to learn about protecting your relationship with your child.

The above synopsis of California divorce laws is by no means all-inclusive and has been adapted from applicable state laws. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local California divorce lawyer in your area.

California divorce laws were last updated July 2009.

Note: Keep in mind that all divorce laws are complex. If you need legal divorce advice or want to fully understand how these laws affect you, please speak with a local divorce attorney.