When parents in California, they may be assigned custodial rights to their children. These rights are determined based on a variety of information made available to a court in a case. Testimony from mediators or evidence introduced by an attorney are examples of what a judge could consider when making a decision. In many cases, one parent is given primary custody of a son or daughter.
The parent who is given primary custody is the one who the child will live with most of the time. The noncustodial parent will be given the right to visit with the child, and such rights may range from overnight stays to vacations and holidays. It is also worth mentioning that a parent may be denied the right to see a child if doing so would put that child in danger. Joint custody is also a possibility.
Custody agreements may change over time as life events take place and the child gets older. If a parent moves or behaves in an erratic fashion, it may be grounds to change the terms of a current order or revoke parental rights completely. The thoughts and feelings of children are often taken into account when they are old enough to reason on their own.
The best interests of the child are the primary priority when making a custody decision. This means that parents may both get custody regardless of their feelings for each other. Parents who want to obtain additional custody rights may benefit from working with an attorney who can review the situation and then create an argument that may lead to a favorable outcome.