The most important portion of any divorce or separation agreement between two parents is planning for the future of their children. Georgia courts will always focus on the best interests of the child when assigning custody.
The court will generally consider the totality of the circumstances when awarding custody of a child to a parent. An Atlanta child custody lawyer could help parents reach an arrangement that will give their children the best possible future following a divorce or separation. By working with a dedicated family lawyer, parents can work to come to arrangements that consider their needs as well as their children’s.
The main factor of any child custody determination is the best interest of the child. For children over the age of 14, the court may take the child’s wishes under consideration when deciding where they will live. Otherwise, the court will usually examine the relationship of the child with each parent as well as each parent’s suitability to raise the child.
According to O.C.G.A. §19-9-3, the court has the ability to grant both legal and physical custody of a child. Legal custody is the right to make decisions concerning how the child is raised. This can cover decisions regarding:
The other form of custody is physical custody. This is where the child lives on a daily basis. The court may award one parent primary physical custody during the week while the child moves to the other parent’s house on weekends. Other physical custody plans will give one parent sole physical custody while the other only has visitation rights; or may give the parents shared physical custody and have the child divide their time equally between parents. An Atlanta child custody lawyer could help parents to better understand the forms of child custody and how they could affect the lives of their children.
Anytime two parents no longer live under the same roof, they must make plans for the care and custody of their children. It does not matter whether the parents were ever married. In some instances, the parents may come to an agreement as to the legal and physical custody of children together. However, in many cases, the court may have to intervene and make a ruling.
According to O.C.G.A. §19-9-3, the court considers a number of factors in determining what is in the best interest of the child. These include:
An Atlanta child custody lawyer could help parents bring these factors to the forefront of any custody hearing. They can work diligently to press for a custody arrangement that will be best for the child and for both parents.
The questions of where a child will live and how decisions will be made concerning their future are at the center of separation involving children. While some parents may be able to come to a mutually agreed upon custody plan, most separations will require a court to intervene. This court will aim to award custody not to the parent who wants it more, but rather according to what is in the best interests of the child.
The court can grant both physical and legal custody. Furthermore, both parents are required to follow this plan and any failure to do so may be considered contempt of a court order. Because of the high stakes involved, it is vital that parents work with an Atlanta child custody attorney who can help. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.