California law generally allows both of a child’s parents to have custody of that minor. A hearing will likely be held to determine if giving you custody rights to your son or daughter is in your child’s best interest. Taking steps to prepare for such a hearing may improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in the matter.
Gather evidence of your ability to be a parent
A family court judge will need to see proof that you have a strong bond with your child and that you have the ability to provide for his or her needs. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to submit statements from your child’s doctor, teacher, or other adults to establish the fact that your child thrives while in your care. You may also want to submit tax records, pay stubs, and other evidence of your financial ability to provide for your son or daughter.
Don’t react to anything that your former partner does
It’s possible that your child’s other parent will say or do things in an effort to get an aggressive response from you during a child custody hearing. They might try to make you say or do something that causes a judge to question your ability to be a good parent. As a general rule, it’s in your best interest to simply remain silent unless you are asked a direct question by the person overseeing the case.
In most cases, parents will share custody of their children. However, even if you are not named a child’s primary caregiver, you will likely obtain visitation rights. This means that you will still be allowed to play a key role in your son or daughter’s upbringing as long as you present yourself well before the judge.