California family courts evaluate custody decisions in light of the needs and interests of the children that will be affected. Because the best interest of a child is a high priority, it is not a foregone conclusion that a parent with a past involving drug abuse, domestic violence or other negative behaviors will be prevented from having any type of custody. Although joint legal custody might not be ordered if a parent is considered unfit, in many other cases, a parent will be legally entitled to be a part of the decision-making process. In fact, physical custody might be possible if the parent's negative issues are not recent.
The breakup of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, who have three children together, is an example of a situation in which the stances of the parents could affect the outcome of custody proceedings. Although the father has recently gotten out of rehab for drug use, he could obtain physical custody of the children if their mother does not fight such a decision. On the other hand, the mother's position as the primary caregiver for the children could put her in the position of being awarded primary physical custody.
While the outcome for the famous couple is yet to be decided, other parents who are dealing with custody and divorce issues might wonder how their past difficulties will affect their involvement in the lives of their children. Because the involvement of both parents is typically viewed as beneficial for the children, a judge may seek a workable solution for a parent with a challenging history.
A parent who believes that their past record could negatively impact their custody and visitation options might want to work with a lawyer to document positive changes that demonstrate an ability to parent in a positive manner. Such documentation might include statements from co-workers, friends, relatives and others.