It is the public policy of California that children have frequent and ongoing contact, with both parents, following a separation or divorce. It is commonly accepted that a child’s mental health and emotional well-being is best served by maintaining a healthy, consistent relationship with both of their parents. As such, the Court will encourage both parents to make every reasonable effort possible to maintain a consistent presence in their children’s lives, despite the difficulty that the separation or divorce may cause. This preference is set forth in California Family Code §§ 3020-3032.
While historically it may have been true that California favored awarding primary physical custody to mothers, that trend has been largely reversed and today it’s not uncommon for fathers to be awarded primary physical custody and mothers with reasonable visitation. It is also not uncommon that the parent who stays at him to raise the children is the father, and not the the mother.
Without a healthy and strong father in a child’s life, research has shown that a child has a more difficult time succeeding in society as that child grows. Therefore, it’s important for both parents, including the father, to stay in the child’s life during a separation and following a divorce. It may not take a village to raise a healthy, but it does take a healthy dad.