Because divorce can affect people in a number of complex ways, the process that follows can vary from situation to situation. For some California residents, paperwork may be the extent of the obstacles; for others, children are the main focus. As with any divorce where children are involved, maintaining structure as closely as possible is key. However, arranging a new schedule — and potentially new living space — for children can present its own set of challenges.

Not all situations end in a difficult manner, but most divorces can require a significant amount of time and consideration. For one California family, determining child custody was hardly simple: a murdered mother’s family has recently struggled to gain custody over the surviving young son. The woman’s ex-boyfriend was the main suspect in the case, resulting in two grandmothers battling for child custody. In this unique situation, one family is concerned about the child’s future lifestyle, while another demands rights to become the boy’s legal parents.  

As most divorcing couples know, the process can unfold in a number of different ways. The Superior Court of California outlines the basics when it comes to child custody and visitation, first stating that arrangements are the decision of the court’s when parents cannot agree on a plan. Like most states, California prioritizes the child’s best interest, no matter the type of situation. Of course, no situation is the same, and the state’s website stresses that courts cannot direct orders in instances where parents are not married at the time of the child’s birth. For these types of separations, and for any in between, California Courts provides additional details on parenting plans, visitation hours and other aspects of this potentially difficult process.