The court looks first to grant custody to both parents jointly or to either parent before looking to grant custody to other persons.California however does not currently establish a preference or a presumption for or against joint custody arrangements.(b) The Legislature finds and declares that 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, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy, except where the contact would not be in the best interest of the child, as provided in Section 3011.When Frequent and Continuing Contact Conflicts with Health, Safety, and Welfare of the Child When frequent and continuing contact with both parents is in conflict with the health, safety, and welfare of the child in a child custody and visitation determination, the family court must first ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the child and all family matters.A common challenge for the court is to decide who will get custody of the child.Child custody may be petitioned by parents, grandparents, stepparents, or any person who believes they can provide suitable care and guidance to the child.
If neither parent is granted custody, then the court may look towards the person's home in which the child has been living and the stability of that environment and then to any person deemed by the court to be able to provide appropriate care for the child.: Health, Safety, and Welfare of the Child Under the best interest of the child standard the "health, safety, and welfare" of the child is a relevant factor the family court must consider in making a child determination on child custody and visitation.California Family Code Section 3020 (a) states, 3020.(d) The habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol by either parent.Before considering these allegations, the court may first require independent corroboration, including, but not limited to, written reports from law enforcement agencies, courts, probation departments, social welfare agencies, medical facilities, rehabilitation facilities, or other public agencies or nonprofit organizations providing drug and alcohol abuse services.