According to the U.S. Census, last year throughout the United States there were more than 13.4 million parents separated from the child’s other parent who were living with children under the age of 21.
In five out of six of those cases, the custodial parents are mothers.
At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles child custody lawyers understand that not all households are defined by the traditional roles of mom and dad, which is why we support our clients’ wishes to determine the best shared parenting plans available for their children, so everyone can thrive after a separation or divorce takes place.
Your role in your children’s lives should be the determining factor in your custody agreement, and our Los Angeles County family law attorneys will ensure your rights are protected and that your involvement in your child’s life is not left to chance — or antiquated biases — going forward.
How Do California Family Courts Determine Child Custody Agreements?
Two fit parents will be evaluated to determine custody based on the best interests of the child(ren), without regard for either parent’s gender.
The good news is, child custody agreements can be settled between the parents, and without the court’s involvement when both are willing to establish an equitable time-sharing schedule that suits their and the children’s needs.
Statistics show that when determining child custody agreements, 91% of cases do not require the family court to decide, instead:
- Both parents agree in 51% of cases that one parent should become the custodial parent
- 29% of those custody decisions are made without any assistance from the court
- 11% of those cases are determined with the assistance of a mediator
The other nine percent that involved the courts include:
- 5% of custody cases being determined after a custody evaluation
- Only 4% of custody cases require a trial before primary custody is decided
While divorce, child custody, and child support proceedings can be complex, parents typically know what is best for their children and are often able to compromise on their time-sharing responsibilities.
At the Land Legal Group, we advise all parents — even if they can decide on their custody arrangements in private — to partner with an attorney before signing any agreement, so your rights are protected now and going forward.
California Child Custody & Determining What’s Best for the Children
When deciding which parent is most likely to provide a safe and stable environment for the children, our child custody attorneys will ask a series of questions to help understand your family dynamic.
Those questions will include details about the children can include, but are not limited to:
- How old are the children?
- What is the state of the children’s physical/mental health?
- If the children are old enough to decide, which parent would they choose to live with?
- Do the children have an emotional bond with either parent?
- Will the children have to adjust to a new school? Find new friends?
- Will the children’s quality of life be diminished if moved from their current home?
Others will include details about the parents financial, physical, and mental abilities to care for the children, which can include:
- Which parent is most financially able to provide for the children’s essential needs?
- What is the physical and mental health history of each parent?
- How likely is that parent to maintain a healthy bond between the child and the other parent?
- What are the parents’ personal habits – both good and bad? And how do they affect the children?
Many factors go into determining child custody and shared parenting time agreements. If you have questions about divorce and how it will affect your children, contact our experienced Los Angeles child custody attorneys at the Land Legal Group at (310) 552-3500 to schedule a free consultation today.