California Child Custody Guidelines and Links

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Factors Considered When Determining the Best Interest of the Child for Child Custody in California

3011.  In making a determination of the best interest of the child in a proceeding described in Section 3021, the court shall, among any other factors it finds relevant, consider all of the following:
(a) The health, safety, and welfare of the child.
(b) Any history of abuse by one parent or any other person seeking custody against any of the following:
(1) Any child to whom he or she is related by blood or affinity or with whom he or she has had a caretaking relationship, no matter how temporary.
(2) The other parent.
(3) A parent, current spouse, or cohabitant, of the parent or person seeking custody, or a person with whom the parent or person seeking custody has a dating or engagement relationship.

As a prerequisite to the consideration of allegations of abuse, the court may require substantial independent corroboration, including, but not limited to, written reports by law enforcement agencies, child protective services or other social welfare agencies, courts, medical facilities, or other public agencies or private nonprofit organizations providing services to victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.  As used in this subdivision, “abuse against a child” means “child abuse” as defined in Section 11165.6 of the Penal Code and abuse against any of the other persons described in paragraph (2) or (3) means “abuse” as defined in Section 6203 of this code.

(c) The nature and amount of contact with both parents, except as provided in Section 3046.
(d) The habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol by either parent.  Before considering these allegations, the court may first require independent corroboration, including, but not limited to, written reports from law enforcement agencies, courts, probation departments, social welfare agencies, medical facilities, rehabilitation facilities, or other public agencies or nonprofit organizations providing drug and alcohol abuse services.  As used in this subdivision, “controlled substances” has the same meaning as defined in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code.

(e) (1) Where allegations about a parent pursuant to subdivision (b) or (d) have been brought to the attention of the court in the current proceeding, and the court makes an order for sole or joint custody to that parent, the court shall state its reasons in writing or on the record.  In these circumstances, the court shall ensure that any order regarding custody or visitation is specific as to time, day, place, and manner of transfer of the child as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 6323.
(2) The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply if the parties stipulate in writing or on the record regarding custody or visitation.

Relevant Sections of the California Code Regarding Child Custody

CUSTODY OF CHILDREN DEFINITIONS 3000-3007
CUSTODY OF CHILDREN GENERAL PROVISIONS 3010-3011
RIGHT TO CUSTODY OF MINOR CHILD GENERAL PROVISIONS 3020-3032
MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED IN GRANTING CUSTODY 3040-3048
TEMPORARY CUSTODY ORDER DURING PENDENCY OF PROCEEDING 3060-3064
JOINT CUSTODY 3080-3089
VISITATION RIGHTS 3100-3105
CUSTODY INVESTIGATION AND REPORT 3110-3118
ACTION FOR EXCLUSIVE CUSTODY 3120-3121
LOCATION OF MISSING PARTY OR CHILD 3130-3135
CHECK TO DETERMINE WHETHER CHILD IS MISSING PERSON 3140
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL TO REPRESENT CHILD 3150-3153
MEDIATION OF CUSTODY AND VISITATION ISSUES 3160-3165
Availability of Mediation 3170-3173
Mediation Proceedings 3175-3188
COUNSELING OF PARENTS AND CHILD 3190-3192
SUPERVISED VISITATION AND EXCHANGE SERVICES3200-3204

Links and Information on Child Custody in California

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