How Can a Mother Get Full Custody of Her Child in Beverly Hills, CA?

Hossein Berenji, Jul 05, 2024

There was a time when California judges gave preference to a mother in child custody cases. The reason for the preference was called the Tender Years Doctrine. The assumption was that mothers were the primary caregivers for children, so mothers should receive custody.

However, the Tender Years Doctrine was abandoned a long time ago. California does not give preference to either parent in a child custody case. Each parent enters the court on an equal footing. If a mother seeks full custody of their child in Beverly Hills, she must prove that awarding her full custody is in the child’s best interests.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Beverly Hills, CA?

Child custody matters usually come before the court during a divorce or legal separation. However, the courts may also hear custody cases arising from grandparent rights, paternity cases, and cases involving parental alienation, abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Regardless of why custody is before the court, judges base all child custody decisions on what is in the best interests of the child.

Under California child custody laws, there is a presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of the child. The courts encourage parents to negotiate a parenting agreement that shares parenting responsibilities and promotes a close relationship with the child. A time-sharing agreement should provide as close to equal time with each parent as possible.

If a parent seeks full custody, the court hears evidence from both sides and decides what is in the child’s best interest. California Family Code §3011 outlines some of the factors the court may consider, including:

  • The welfare, safety, and health of the child
  • The amount and nature of the contact between the child and each parent
  • Allegations or a history of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or domestic violence
  • The continued or habitual use of illegal drugs

Judges may consider any factor they deem relevant to determining the child’s best interest for custody. For example, a judge may consider the reasonable preferences of a child with sufficient maturity to express a reasonable preference for custody. Likewise, the judge may consider the child’s attachment to siblings and others in a home and the stability of their current home.

When Does a Mother Get Full Custody in Beverly Hills, CA?

A judge has the discretion to grant sole legal and/or physical custody to the mother. Some circumstances that might result in a mother receiving full custody in Beverly Hills include:

  • There are allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, or a history of abuse
  • The father is a habitual drug user or alcoholic, and it impairs his ability to care for his child
  • The father has neglected or abandoned the child
  • A father is loving with someone who poses a threat to the child
  • The father cannot provide a stable, safe home for the child
  • A father suffers from a medically diagnosed psychological problem that prevents him from caring for his child
  • The father is an established flight risk with the child
  • A father has not been involved in the child’s life until recently

In this context, sole physical custody means that the child lives with and is under the care of only the mother. A judge could grant limited or supervised visitation if there is a threat of harm to the child by being left alone with the father. If there is no risk of harm, the court may grant the father liberal visitation.

Sole legal custody is the right to make decisions for the child without seeking input from the father. The father has no right to participate in decisions regarding religious upbringing, healthcare, education, and other matters related to the child.

Can a Mother Increase Her Chance of Receiving Full Custody in Beverly Hills, CA?

Hiring an experienced Beverly Hills child custody lawyer is the best step a mother can take if she wants sole custody of her child. An attorney understands the law and how to prepare for a custody battle. Other steps a mother can take when seeking full custody include:

  • Design a schedule that allows the mother to be with the child as much as possible when the child is not in school
  • Gather affidavits from witnesses attesting to the mother’s fitness as a parent
  • Keep detailed records about the time the father spends with the child
  • Make notes about events, appointments, and other activities the father misses
  • Demonstrate good parenting skills, such as setting reasonable rules, keeping to a schedule, and assisting the child with homework
  • Be involved in the child’s life, including knowing their friends, attending school functions, spending free time together, and more
  • Be involved in all significant decisions regarding the child
  • Provide a safe, suitable, and stable home for the child

If you have questions about child custody matters, you should speak with a Beverly Hills child custody attorney. The sooner you talk with an attorney, the better you can prepare to seek full custody of your child.

Contact a Beverly Hills Family Law Lawyer Today

If you’re going through a divorce, you need a strong team on your side fighting for your rights. Call Berenji & Associates Divorce Lawyers today to know how we can assist you.

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Beverly Hills CA 90212
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