California law has a broad legal standard in determining how custody and parenting time should be allocated between a Father and Mother.
This standard is based on the answer to the question: What is the best interest of the child.
Factors to be considered include:
The child's health, safety and welfare.
The nature and amount of the child's contact with both parents.
History of drug or alcohol abuse.
History of physical abuse, and
Other factors that the court deems relevant.
The legislature has also declared that it is public policy to ensure that the children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents and encourages parents share the rights and responsibility of of child rearing unless such contact is not in the best interest of the children.
What does this mean?
As a father, I understand that a child needs both a Mother and a Father in their lives and I will work with both Mothers and Fathers to help you come to agreement on what is best for your individual child.
How you divide parenting time can also be dependent on the age of the child.
If one party screws up, that does not necessary mean that party loses a child forever. It simply means that a process needs to be designed to work back to the goals of frequent and continuing contact and shared parental responsibilities.
As a lawyer I cannot unring the bells of past discretions. The parent who is attempting to gain more time will have to follow a strict program to convince a court that increased parenting time is best for the child. The other parent needs to have safeguards in place to ensure that no harm be done.
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Top 20% of class, Traynor Society, Deans List, ABA Competition Teams for Negotiation and Client Interviewing and Counseling, Anthony Kennedy Inns of Court, Community Legal Services (certified law student & team leader)
* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.