Does California Favor the Mother or Father?

16Dec, 22

Custody battles are always tough, especially when both parents care heavily for their children. State guidelines regarding child custody are designed to protect the child’s safety. The court will consider a number of factors when deciding which parent to place a child with to ensure that the child’s welfare is protected.


Different Kinds of Custody

Child custody can take many forms, most commonly sole custody or joint custody. Sole custody, typically referred to as “full custody,” means that one parent will retain all guardianship responsibilities over a shared child. Joint custody, on the other hand, is a custody arrangement where both parents are still required to provide for a shared child who spends a set amount of time with either parent for part of the year. Whichever parent has them for most of that time will still be their primary legal guardian. For example, if a child in a joint custody agreement spends summers with their mother and the rest of the year with their father, the father would be the custodial parent.

Before deciding on these arrangements, determining the differences between legal and physical custody is crucial for creating a comprehensive child custody plan. When determining who has custody of a shared child, the court considers two types of custody:

  • Legal Custody: A parent with legal custody of a shared child has the authority to make important decisions for the child. These choices may concern medical care, education, or other welfare-related issues. Although cooperation is recommended to avoid going to court, parents who have joint legal custody are not required to agree on every decision impacting their child’s upbringing.
  • Physical Custody: A child’s real living arrangements are referred to as having “physical custody.” Although it is not always the case, joint physical custody sometimes suggests an equal distribution of parenting time between the parents. It can be unrealistic for parents to split their time evenly with their kids due to work schedules, school hours, and other facets of daily life. A parent has visitation rights when they have custody of their children for less than half the time, according to the law.

The relationship between the child’s parents will play a role in selecting the best course of action in each unique child custody dispute. In a child custody dispute, the mother will be considered the child’s primary caregiver, which is a major responsibility. On the other side, a father will be designated as a child’s custodial parent if it is determined that he would be a better guardian. Only the child’s welfare and well-being are considered while determining custody, not the parents’ gender.

Is California a “Father’s Rights” State?

Both parents of the child can request custody and visitation rights under California state law. In these situations, the mother and father of the child are given equal treatment and rights. Regardless of the connection between the parents, particularly whether they were married or divorced at the time of the child’s birth, these rights continue to exist. Judges in California base their decisions on what is in the “best interests of the child” when determining custody arrangements. This norm states that both parents should be involved unless there is a specific hazard to the child’s safety.

Even though mothers have generally been granted sole custody by the courts, recent decisions have seen more dads recognized as the child’s custodial parent and more moms granted visitation. Both the mother and the father are treated equally when a judge decides which parent will have the title of caretaker. When coming to a decision, the court considers various aspects, such as each parent’s capacity to care for and support the child as well as their relationship with the child.


Q: Is California a mother state or a father state?

A: Depending on the decision of the court, a mother can earn full custody of a child by proving that she is a better fit for custodial guardianship when compared to her child’s father or any other guardian-related party. The court should place a child in the custody of whichever parent can properly provide for that child. Presenting the necessary information to allow a mother to attain full custody is the only way to guarantee it.

Q: Is California a mother state for custody?

A: If the mother and father are not married, the mother will always have custody of the child. The decision to involve the father in their child’s life does not necessitate unmarried mothers to launch a lawsuit. The single person responsible for the child’s general welfare, including housing, education, medical care, etc., will be the unmarried mother. Depending on the court’s discretion, the unmarried mother must be physically and mentally faultless to be granted full custody.

Q: Does California favor joint custody?

A: California courts favor awarding joint custody when both parents are ready to accept custody. The term “joint custody” refers to a situation in which each parent has some custody rights. However, this can apply to a wide range of circumstances. In these cases, both parents retain legal custody of their shared children. Physical custody, regarding who is named the custodial parent, is a separate matter.

Q: What determines child custody in California?

A: Depending on the custody arrangement discussed by both parents, as well as input from the court’s evaluation, the parent deemed better suited to be a child’s sole guardian is determined by the facts of the case. After evaluating all possible options, the court will grant custody to whichever parent can provide the most stable, safe home for the child.

Finding Legal Support for Child Custody Battles

Child custody proceedings take a toll on all members of a family, especially if they are part of a larger divorce trial. When navigating these issues, it is crucial to find a legal team able to provide the support needed to make it through these trials. At the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, we can provide the legal help needed to support any parent facing a child custody hearing. For more information on our services, visit our website and contact us today.

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