Understanding Why the Courts Prioritize the Primary Caregiver

Understanding Why the Courts Prioritize the Primary Caregiver

When a California judge determines child custody between divorcing spouses, they take many factors into account and heavily consider what is in the child’s best interests. At Cage & Miles, we help parents to identify these factors California courts use to determine what those best interests are.

A key element California Family Court considers is the consistency of routine. During the process of divorce, family life is likely in a state of chaos, which can affect a child’s day-to-day life. Keeping the child’s schedule as routine as possible is extremely beneficial and comforting to a child who is likely in emotional anguish. This is why the judge will place a priority on the child’s primary caregiver because this parent is most likely the most suitable guardian. However, this does not mean the one parent will receive full custody.

What Is a Primary Caregiver According to California Law?

According to California law, there are several responsibilities that make up the role of primary caregiver:

  • Helping the child bathe, dress and groom himself or herself
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Taking care of clothing matters such as purchasing and laundering clothes
  • Making doctor and dental appointments and taking the child to them
  • Participating in educational needs, such as helping with homework and attending parent-teacher conferences
  • Planning and attending social and extracurricular activities
  • Evidence of caring for the child’s safety
  • The ability to provide a suitable living situation

The other parent may also nurture and provide for your child in ways that are important to his or her development, but a judge will want to ensure that these basic needs are met. Like you, the judge may have concerns that the other parent will not adequately fulfill the role and accidentally neglect a critical component of your child’s physical, emotional, social or educational health.

Contact our divorce attorneys today at Cage & Miles for a free 30-minute, no-obligation consultation on what to expect in your child custody matters. We can be reached at (858) 943-2060, or contact us online for a quick response.