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California Child Custody & California Child Support

When children are involved in a California divorce, courts are careful to take into consideration the needs and interests of the child or children when deciding California child custody and California child support issues. All courts prefer parents to amicably work out the details of raising their children together after a divorce. But when a court needs to get involved, usually when the parents can’t agree, the court will always look to the best interests of the child or children. Following are the California laws governing child custody and support.

California Child Custody:
California courts will do what is possible to lessen the emotional impact of a divorce on the children. If the parents cannot agree on a plan for custody, the courts will step in and establish a custody order that takes the following into account:
  1. The health, welfare and safety of the child(ren);
  2. Any history of abuse by one parent against:
    • any child related by blood or with whom he or she has had a care-taking relationship;
    • the other parent;
    • a parent, current spouse, cohabitant, or any other person with whom the parent is having a dating or engagement relationship;
  3. The nature and amount of contact with both parents;
  4. Any habitual or continual use of alcohol or illegal controlled substances by either parent.
California Child Support:
California courts will consider the following in determining each parent’s share of support:
1) How much each parent earns or can earn;
2) How much additional income each parent receives;
3) How many children the parents have together;
4) The amount of time each parent spends with the children;
5) The tax filing status of each parent;
6) The support of the children from other relationships;
7) Health insurance expenses;
8) Mandatory union dues;
9) Mandatory retirement contributions;
10) Costs associated with daycare and mandatory uninsured healthcare costs;
11) Any other relevant factors, such as travel expenses, special needs and educational costs.
A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to childrearing after a divorce, and serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement.