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How Parental Custody Cases Are Decided in California

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How Parental Custody Cases Are Decided in California

  1. 1. Arlene D. Kock, Esq., A Professional Law Corporation, is a full service family law practice based in San Ramon, California. Arlene Kock has served as an attorney experienced in litigating in scores of domestic partnership terminations, custody cases, and other legal family matters for over three decades. The state of California distinguishes between physical and legal custody. The former refers to the child’s residence and physical care, while the latter involves major decisions concerning the health and welfare affecting the child’s life.
  2. 2. A court may award joint custody to both parents or sole custody if one parent is deemed unfit to make major decisions concerning the child. For example, a history of domestic abuse can affect a court’s decision when detailing a custody arrangement. In California, domestic abuse can take many forms, including physical, mental, and economic abuse, a situation in which one parent abusively limits or controls all of the family’s finances.
  3. 3. California law dictates that a custody arrangement must be made with the child’s best interests in mind. Therefore, a parent who has been charged with any form of domestic violence may be looked upon unfavorably by a presiding judge. In cases involving domestic violence or extreme psychological abuse, a judge may decide to implement supervised visitations for the abusive parent, and overnight visits may be suspended altogether. In some instances, the offending party may also be responsible for any medical or psychological bills that have resulted due to the inflicted abuse.

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