Even among parents who reach a decision about custody when getting a divorce, deciding which parent will have primary custody is usually a tough decision to make. In California, if parents cannot agree, the court will consider many factors in deciding whether one parents gets primary custody or if a joint physical custody arrangement is feasible and in the children’s best interest. First of all, a court should always consider what is in the best interests of the children. This determination requires a closer look at the family relationships and history. For instance, a history of domestic violence will likely have some bearing in a custody decision, as would a history of drug abuse. Depending on the age and maturity of the child, the court may also consider the child’s wishes related to custody. Under certain conditions, the court may grant custody to a third party rather than the parents. This may occur when a California court decides the children would be in danger or subject to harm in the parents’ custody and the children’s best interest would be better served by living with the third party. One important note is that if a parent has a history of domestic violence, that parent will generally not be favored in a custody decision. The court will consider several factors in the decision, however, including completion of a batterer’s treatment program or a parenting class. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we will aggressively pursue the best outcome possible for you in your divorce or custody proceedings. Judy L. Burger is known for her tenacious representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas. If you are a parent facing a divorce or custody dispute, call us today to learn more about how we can help. Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.