In making an award of child custody to either parent, the Court must consider several factors; the best interest of the child is always the intent of the Court, with custodial orders to both parents jointly, then to either parent. If the Court makes an order of custody to one parent over the other, the Court shall consider which parent is more likely to allow frequent and continuing contact of the children by the other parent.
The Court may also consider an award of custody to a person whom the child has been living with, even if that person is not the child’s parent, if the living environment is wholesome and stable. The Court may deem a non-parent suitable if they are able to provide adequate and proper care and guidance.
If the Court awards custody to a non-parent, over a parent’s objection, the Court must determine that it would be detrimental to the child to remain in the custody of the parent and a non-parent award of custody is in the best interest of the child. Detriment includes harm of removal from a stable placement with the person who has assumed the day-to-day role of the parent, or one who fulfills the physical and psychological needs for care and affection of the child, over a lengthy period of time.
If you have found yourself caring for a child and providing the physical and psychological needs on a day-to-day basis, taking the role of the “parent” and have a desire to seek an award for custody of that child, you may have a right to seek that award from the Court.
If you have any questions regarding non-parent child custody, or other family law matters, the Law Office of Heath L. Baker will help you. Please contact us at (951) 222-2228, or at our website: www.heathbakerlaw.com. We would love to talk to you in person and discuss the family law or divorce issues that are important to you.