You may already know that when your child custody case goes before the judge, he or she will consider what is in your child’s best interests. At Lowenstein Brown, APLC, we often help parents to identify what factors the California courts use to determine what those best interests are.

One of the major elements of your child’s best interests is consistency of routine. While so much of the family life is in chaos, knowing that the daily schedule will continue in a similar way can be extremely comforting to a child. So, the judge will place considerable weight on who has been the primary caregiver because this person is most likely to be able to continue the routine that makes the child feel safe. According to FindLaw, there are a number of responsibilities that make up the role of primary caregiver:

  • Helping the child bathe, dress and groom himself or herself
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Taking care of clothing matters such as purchasing and laundering clothes
  • Making doctor and dental appointments and taking the child to them
  • Participating in educational needs, such as helping with homework and attending parent-teacher conferences
  • Planning and attending social and extracurricular activities

The other parent may also nurture and provide for your child in ways that are important to his or her development, but a judge will want to ensure that these basic needs are met. Like you, the judge may have concerns that the other parent will not adequately fulfill the role and accidentally neglect a critical component of your child’s physical, emotional, social or educational health.

More information about custody determinations and the best interests of the child is available on our webpage.