If you’re getting a divorce, it’s likely that the first thing you’re thinking about is your children. As a parent, they are your priority, and it’s incredibly important that they get exactly what they need in the short and long term. Depending on the age of your child, a Californian court will rule in different ways. Remember that an attorney on your side can make sure the judge rules in the child’s best interests.

When a child is under the age of four, courts very often don’t want to separate that child from the “primary caregiver” (usually the wife) for a very long time because stability is always a main concern. The person with a dependable income that can feed, clothe, and take care of their child on a day to day basis is often the person who is favored in court and receives full custody.

School-age children focuses less on uprooting the child and more on who will be able to support the child the best.  Judges often look at family connections and financial well-being of both parents. They may also interview the child or children in question to see who they would like to live with. They will also look at their connections to the community they live in, if one parent is moving away from the location they are currently in.

Children fourteen and above often get to make the decision themselves more or less, but the way they are handled by the court is similar to a school-aged child. The court never makes a decision based solely on the child’s wishes, but as they age, the wishes of the child are more aptly considered in combination with financial and mental stability of both parents.

When going to court over child custody, make sure you hire a trustworthy Californian lawyer that has your best interests in mind as well as your child’s.