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Using the “better parent” standard may help you win child custody

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2021 | Family Law

Sharing a child with someone you’re no longer in a relationship with isn’t easy. Shared parenting can be especially challenging when two people have very different ideas about child-rearing. If you’re looking to establish sole custody in the state of California, understanding and using the “better parent” standard might be your best bet.

The physical and psychological well-being of your minor children should be your primary focus

The California family court system isn’t eager to unnecessarily interfere in child/parent relationships. As such, family law judges don’t generally issue orders preventing one parent from spending time with children unless there’s just cause. If you’ll be using the “better parent” standard to obtain sole custody, the burden of proof will lie solely on you. You’ll need to show exactly how sole custody is in the best interests of your children and their physical and psychological health.

You must prove that you’re the better parent without attacking the other party

One of the challenges in using the “better parent” standard is proving yourself as the more capable party without attacking the other parent. This means being prepared to share how you’ll ensure good sleep hygiene, structured routines, quality of education, social engagement, and good nutrition for your child. Detailing how you can provide these things may prove more effective than talking about why the other party cannot.

Joint custody rulings aren’t always a loss

When neither parent proves the other party as unfit or themselves as being the better parent, a joint custody ruling will likely be made. Unless you believe that spending time with your ex will put your children directly in harm’s way, joint custody isn’t actually a loss. Studies show that kids tend to have fewer behavioral and emotional problems when they’re able to establish bonds with both parents. With a joint custody ruling, both parties must work together to create a fair and feasible parenting plan for sharing responsibilities and time.

Determining whether sole custody or joint custody is in the best interests of your child is critical when seeking a custody order. Using the “better parent” standard can be helpful in instances in which one parent is clearly unfit.