Who Has a Better Chance of Getting Custody of the Kids in a California Divorce?

This article considers statistics relating to the physical custody of children and also the legal factors involved in these decisions.   

What are the statistics on physical custody?


These statistics are according to data published in 20202, which can be accessed here, 

  • Nearly 4 in 5 custodial parents were mothers. 
  • However, in more than half of the cases, the parties agree that the mother should have custody. 

Does this mean that there is a bias toward mother’s for physical custody? 

  • The legal standards, which will be described below, do not contain a gender bias. 
  • The statistics do not necessarily support the finding of a gender bias in the law because many of the parties surveyed had a parenting plan that was agreed upon by the parties and not based on a court award of custody. 


 What are the legal standards for determining physical custody?


Some of the factors that a judge may consider are listed on the self-help website of the California courts which can be accessed here. Factors that can be considered in determining the best interest of the child are the following:

  • Age and health of the child.
  • The emotional ties between the parents and the child.
  • The child’s ties to their school, home and community.
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child. 
  • Any history of family violence. 
  • Any regular and ongoing substance abuse by either parent. 

Contact an Experienced Divorce Firm

Each case is different, and whether you are a mother or father, the purpose of the family laws in California are to protect the best interest of your children. You need an attorney who understands family law and has the requisite experience to help you navigate the system. If you need help with any divorce issue or a other family law legal matter, contact the Law Office of David Knecht.  We have extensive experience with family law will listen to you and fight to achieve your goals. Contact us at 707-451-4502.