As of the first of this year, some new and exciting changes have occurred in California family law. Last fall, Governor Brown signed bill SB 274* which allows children to have more than one parent. The court will grant parentage to multiple parents where it is determined that having only two parents will be detrimental to the child.
The law, now part of the California Family Code, directs the family court to consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the harm of removing a child from a stable home with a parent who has fulfilled the child’s physical needs and the child’s psychological needs for care and affection, and who has assumed that role for a substantial period of time. For example, this would allow a child to remain legally connected to both of his natural parents while creating a new legal connection between him and his aunt who has cared for him for a significant amount of time.
With this law, the court can allocate time and custody of the child among all of the legal parents. As always, what is in the best interests of the child is what controls the court’s decisions. This is the same for child support. In the end, Governor Brown acknowledged that in some situations, a child can benefit from having the care and support of three or even four parents. This is a major departure from previous laws which only allowed each child to have two legal parents. Now, there are more people who will have standing in family law proceedings in regards to certain children.
If you are interested in petitioning for parentage of a child, or are dealing with other family law issues, having a knowledgeable, experienced family law attorney by your side can prove to be invaluable. If you have any questions about your divorce or custody issues, please contact our California Certified Family Law Specialists (as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri’s attorneys have decades of experience handling complex family law proceedings and are happy to offer you a free half-hour consultation.
Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
*SB 274 is now operative as of 1/1/14.