California courts often cite to the “best interest of the children” standard when making rulings and issuing decisions on family law matters. Where does this language come from, and what does it mean for you?
California laws, in many places, refer to the “best interest of the children” or “best interest of the child.” The core statute on what this means is California Family Code § 3011, which is a general provision of law relating to custody.
Section 3011 lists several factors that courts must consider when determining what is in the best interest of children:
- The child’s “health, safety, and welfare”;
- Any history of abuse against a child, the other parent, or a parent’s significant other;
- The nature and amount of the child’s contact with both parents; and
- Either parent’s use of illegal, controlled substances, or habitual use of alcohol or prescribed controlled substances.
The “best interest of the child” standard applies to many types of proceedings:
- Legal separation;
- Actions for exclusive custody;
- Custody or visitation actions under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act;
- Custody or visitation actions under the Uniform Parentage Act; and
- Custody or visitation actions under brought by a California district attorney.
The “best interest of the child” standard is also at play in related proceedings, such as child custody evaluations and parenting plans.
The California Legislature’s widespread application of the “the best interest of the child” standard shows its commitment to the health and well-being of children. In hotly contested child support matters, you need an attorney to fight for you and your child. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger have extensive experience in divorce, child custody, and child support matters. Make the call today to learn how our attorneys can protect you and your children: (415) 293-8314.