The “Best Interests” of the Child: Custody and Visitation

“The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state to assure that the health, safety, and welfare of children shall be the court’s primary concern in determining the best interest of children…” (Family Code 3020(a)).

The “best interests” of the child is an often used, but little understood or followed concept. To a child, divorce, or the end of a relationship between their parents, is a devastating and stressful milestone in their lives. At the Law Offices of Edward N. Ajlouny, we strive to lessen the impact of divorce on the children by strongly encouraging fair and reasonable timeshare and custodial arrangements between separated couples and by focusing primarily on the children’s needs.

Once a marriage or relationship ends, hostility towards the other party often is manifested in a desire to limit the other party’s contact with the children. However, this behavior is counter to the law. “It is the public policy of this state to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship…” (Family Code 3020(b)).

Of course, when legitimate issues of Domestic Violence, drug and child abuse are present, we will fight hard to limit that other party’s contact with the children and compel them to obtain treatment. However, all too often such claims are manufactured as a way to seek the upper hand in custody disputes; if that’s the case, we have a proven record of sifting out the truth and successfully defending our clients.