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Is joint custody really best for kids? Consider your options

In California, it's typically assumed that a minor child will his or her time with both parents. However, who gets custody is determined with the best interests of the child in mind.

For example, if your child is a teen female, and she says she wants to live with her mother and spend weekends with her dad, then listening to her concerns and considering her preference is important. It is common for teens to want to stay with the parent of the same gender due to the issues they deal with in puberty and while growing more independent.

In the case of younger children, it may make sense to split time with both parents. Sharing time 50-50 may not be possible due to work and other obligations, but sharing custody jointly is usually fair and gives both parents time with their child.

Laws dictate how judges can order custody and visitation

There are laws that state what a judge can and cannot do with a child's visitation and custody schedule. The judge must do what is in the best interests of the child. To determine what is best, the judge will look at how the parents interact with one another, their ability to get along and if there is a history of violence in the home.

The judge also considers factors such as the age and health of the child, and the child's schooling, community ties and home life.

Our website has more information about custody and what you should consider when creating a parenting plan and custody schedule. If you and your child's other parent can work together, you both may be happier with the results.

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