In some cases, a California family court may decide to grant sole custody to one of the parents. Before the court would do that, however, it would have to hear evidence that supports a finding that it would be in the best interest of the child for only one parent—the father or the mother—to have sole legal or sole physical custody.
Courts have considered sole custody in situations involving domestic violence, child abuse, false allegations of abuse, substance abuse issues (including alcohol, drugs, and prescription medications), and emotional abuse. If one parent has been significantly absent during the child’s life, the court might determine that they lack the parenting skills required to share custody.
If there is no court order in place to divide parenting time, either parent may refuse to let the child spend time with the other parent. When that happens, law enforcement will not interfere until there is a valid court order. Unilateral actions taken by one parent who refuses to share custody will not be looked at kindly by the courts, however. If an emergency exists where a reasonable person would not let the other parent have custody, then an emergency court order should be sought. Before custody orders can be put in place, the court might require both parents to attend mediation.
If you’re worried about losing custody of your child or need an emergency court order to protect your child, the Carlos Navarrete Law Firm is here to help. We can guide you through family law matters to ensure you have the parenting time you need with your child. Our Hanford, CA, child custody lawyers are never afraid to fight for your rights and your child’s best interest. We have extensive experience in both mediation and court.
To schedule a consultation, call us or contact us online.