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Why Seeking Sole Custody Is Complicated


There are many reasons a parent might want sole custody of their child. Perhaps the other parent is abusive. Perhaps they are neglectful. Perhaps, for whatever reason, they are simply unfit to care for their child. Regardless, legally proving a parent is unfit for custody is complicated. However, if it means securing the best future for your child and a safe environment for them to grow up in, those complications are worth it. In this blog post, our Pasadena child custody attorneys discuss the different factors the court considers when determining sole custody, including figuring out whether the parents are proven unfit.

How Sole Custody Is Awarded in California

When awarding custody in California, courts favor awarding joint custody since it is typically in the child’s best interests to maintain relationships with both parents. However, there are situations where the courts may determine that joint custody would be harmful to the child’s overall growth and development. If the court determines that joint custody would not be in the child’s best interests, it will award sole physical custody to one parent, with the option of supervised visitation or no custody rights to the other parent.

The courts might award sole custody if they find:

  • One parent is emotionally abusive, physically abusive, or neglectful.
  • One parent has been found legally guilty of domestic violence.
  • One parent is actively struggling with substance abuse.
  • One parent is physically unable to care for their child.
  • One parent has a mental illness that makes them unable to care for the child.
  • One parent cannot provide the at-home medical care the child needs.
  • One parent is considered a “flight risk” and might leave the state or country with the child.
  • The child’s relationship with the parent is harmful to the child.

Each family’s situation is different, so the court awards custody on a case-by-case basis based on what would be best for the child’s growth and development.

Custody Evaluations

Due to how complex and important a child’s custody situation is, the court might order a custody evaluation so they can get further information about what would be best for the child. In the nearly two-month-long process, a custody evaluator meets with the parents, child, and important individuals in the child’s life to get a holistic picture of the child’s best interests. The evaluator then writes a report to share with the court to review before making their custody determination.

Consult a Skilled Pasadena Family Law Attorney

Cases involving child custody are complicated but important. You need someone on your side who you can trust to protect your family. At Gille Kaye Law Group, PC, our Pasadena child custody attorneys can help you navigate this difficult process and seek a custody agreement in your child’s best interests.

Are you planning to seek sole custody for the sake of your child? Schedule a confidential consultation with one of our child custody attorneys today by calling us at (626) 340-0955.

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