Almost every jurisdiction in the United States follows the standard that involves the best interests of the child with regards to the question of child custody when parents are pursuing a divorce. Despite this relative state of uniformity, there are many differences with regards to the details that support this standard. However, some states are attempting to provide themselves with more details so that these court proceedings can be more predictable for everyone involved. Utah is the latest jurisdiction to consider such a step.
Specifically, the state legislature there is attempting to push through a bill that would allow a child who is at least 14 years of age to address the court with regards to his or her preference in terms of which parent he or she would like to live with on a primary basis. At this point, the age limit is 16. However, even if that age limit is lowered judges would still have some discretion with regards to the final decision on child custody.
As of now, children who are at least 14 can address a court with regards to this issue in California. However, judges here can also use discretion if they feel that the child’s preference would not be in his or her best interest. Therefore, courts can still overrule a child’s request and make a decision based on the other criteria that are used.
San Diego Child Custody Lawyers
Clearly, every situation in which child custody is contested is a very difficult one for the child and for both of the parents. These are also not easy decisions to make for the courts. That’s why fathers who face this situation need to take steps to make sure that their legal rights and interests are properly protected and enforced.
If you are a father who is facing a fight for the right to raise your child on a daily basis, you need to seek the help of San Diego child custody lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of fathers for many years. Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.