How to win a child custody case in California is about getting best outcome for your child.
While you are thinking about How to win a child custody case in California, you should understand that whatever you do in your case – your child’s emotional comfort, physical comfort and safety is the priority. It not about how to win a child custody case in California, it about wining your child best interest.
Generally, there are no winner or loser in divorce case – everyone is losing something ( perhaps time with kids, money for paying for two households instead of one). Although those losses must change your mind to proceed with divorce if your life is intolerable, so your gain might be freedom from toxic relationships that drain your physical and mental energy perhaps preventing your personal and professional growth. Thus, in discussing How to win a child custody case in California we will target minimizing your and your children’s losses from a divorce.
Another important comment before explaining how to win a child custody case in California is for you to avoid false allegations against your spouse. You will lose everything if you will be involved in misconduct or fraud.
COURT’S BROAD DISCRETION TO DECIDE WHO WIN CHILD CUSTODY CASE
While you are thinking how to win a child custody case look at your case from the judge’s point of view.
The trial court has a broad discretion in deciding who gets child custody. Appellate court usually refuse to disturb trial court’s exercise of discretion. Because the trial judge heard the evidence and observed the witnesses, their attitude, candor or lack of candor, he/she best qualified to determine the factual issues and his decision will seldom be reversed on appeal.
A custody determination must be based on substantial evidence. The term “substantial evidence” means evidence of legal significance, and that is “reasonable in nature, credible, and of solid value.”
Here is the first important practical advice how to win a child custody case in California:
Be honest with your attorney providing facts that are reliable and relative to your case. If there are evidence in support of your position, your attorney would help you to gather and organize such evidence. If not, your attorney would explain if there is no merit for your case and why. The credibility is a big part of how to win your child custody case, thus your facts must be stated completely truthfully. The court will appoint experienced investigators to evaluate your case if your credibility is questionable.
THE PRESUMPTION – TO START WITH IN CHILD CUSTODY CASES
Under Family Code 3040 the child custody case based on the presumption that the court preference is awarding custody “to both parents jointly”. However, under family Code 3040 (c), this presumption could be rebutted by relevant facts supported with reliable evidence. As we have mentioned above, the court’s “widest discretion” in making custody orders. Lets look at statutory factors affecting the best interest of the children which would be detrimental how to win child custody in California.
If you are suspicious that your spouse physically or sexually abusing your children, but you don’t have enough evidence, you can still have court know about the ground and reasons for your suspicious. The court will not punish you for sharing your thoughts and concerns. However, if a court finds that a parent knowingly and with the intent to interfere with the other parent’s lawful contact with the child has made a false sexual abuse report against the other parent, the court may limit the reporting parent’s custody or visitation or order supervised visitation.
The next important practical advice how to win a child custody case in California is:
do not try to make your case stronger by exaggerating the other party’s abusive behavior and kids’ reaction on that behavior.
Abusive parent’s relationship with victim and Corroboration
The second important statutory factor that a court will consider is history of abuse by a person seeking custody against any of the following:
· A child to whom he or she is related by affinity, blood or by a temporary or permanent caretaker relationship;
· A current spouse or cohabitant of the person seeking custody, or anyone whom the parent or person is dating or engaged to.
Under Family Code 3011, a court may require independent corroboration of allegations of such abuse. It includes written reports by medical facilities, law enforcement agencies, social welfare agencies, child protective services or other public agencies or private nonprofit organizations providing services to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Another practical advice how to win a child custody case in California is:
Initiating your child case investigation, whether it is child protection services or attorney general investigation need to be done in advance before your child custody hearings. If the investigation is incomplete or written report from psychiatrist is not ready, the judge will most likely do continuance of your case.
Domestic Violence and Child custody
If there is domestic violence finding against the party seeking custody or against a child’s sibling within the previous 5 years, there is a rebuttable presumption that awarding sole or joint physical or legal custody of the child to the perpetrator is not in the child’s best interest.
A court must give notice of the rebuttable presumption in custody or restraining order proceeding to the parties before a custody mediation. If there is no custody dispute and custody mediation has not been set, a party is not entitled to notice of the presumption during temporary restraining order.
The next practical advice how to win child a child custody case in California is to report the child abuse or domestic violence immediately, without delay. If you are waiting weeks, months, years after the incident and filing divorce following domestic violence restraining order, the judge would be suspicious that the reason for restraining order is to get a child custody in the divorce. The issue would come up is why would you live with your spouse for so long without acting knowing that your spouse is abusing children.
Parent’s commitment to allow frequent and continuance contact with another parent
Generally, the court favors a parent who is encouraging frequent and continuance contact with another parent. It does not mean that you must create an appearance that you would love other parent to see your children as often as possible. It mean you have to understand that the point of view of judge to be sure both parents are acting in the best interest of their child understanding that father and mother have their ability to make a meaningful contribution in your child ‘s development. So, if you express to the court your intent to “give” instead of “take”, you will actually get more time with your children because the judge would appreciate your wisdom and commitment to allow frequent and continuance contact with another parent. If you have concern about other parent misbehavior you have to explain it to the judge objectively in a matter respectful to another parent.
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