Can a father take a child away from the mother in California? In California, unmarried fathers can legally take child custody away from the mother if they prove in court that the mother is unfit to care for the child. In these instances, the judge may award sole or primary custody to the father.
Who has legal custody of a child in California? Under California law, the court begins the custody evaluation by presuming that both parents are equally entitled to custody of the child—meaning, the judge doesn’t begin the evaluation with a bias towards one parent or the other. (Cal. Fam. Code § 3010 (a).)
What determines custody in California? California law does not show preference to any one parent in a custody case. Custody decisions are to be made based on the child’s best interests. That being said, mothers are historically granted custody more often than fathers, since they are often the caretakers of the children more so than the fathers.
Do you have to pay child support if you have 50/50 custody in California? Even if the parents are dividing physical custody down the middle, a judge may order the higher-earning parent to pay child support. You may have to pay child support even with a 50/50 custody agreement if you are the higher-earning parent.