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How Child Custody is Determined

Miriam Galindo

Located in Irvine, California, licensed psychologist and social worker Miriam Galindo operates a private practice, handling child and family reunification, and counseling families dealing with divorce. Assisting during the difficult court process, Miriam Galindo is well-versed in the workings of child custody.

Each state considers a number of factors when determining who gets custody of minor children, but the general guideline is to serve the best interests of the child. In deciding how these best interests should be met, the court takes into account, among other elements, age, gender, which parent provides the most nurturing environment, and any evidence of abuse.

There are different types of custody arrangements, with joint legal custody allowing both parents to make decisions regarding a child's upbringing. If one parent is unfit to carry out parental duties, sole custody can be acquired. It is possible, in some cases, for someone other than a parent to get custody of a child, from relatives to close family friends, often called third-party custody.

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