Child custody battles can be complicated and emotionally taxing for all parties involved, but children are especially vulnerable to the trauma litigation can bring. Let an experienced child custody lawyer assist you in determining the best interests of the children in your Atlanta custody agreement. An attorney’s help could be crucial to your children’s well-being, so call today to schedule an appointment.
Georgia law states that child custody is to be determined by a judge, and the award of child custody between the parents is to be based on what is in the best interests of the children. There are 17 relevant but broad factors that govern the determination of child custody and serve as a guideline to the court. That being said, not all the criteria need to be addressed. It is a case-by-case determination, but the court can look at and weigh any factor to determine what custody determination is going to be in the best interests of the child.
A parent’s financial situation is not considered when determining the best interests of the children, so a parent with superior finances would not have an advantage in custody disputes. However, the court could consider a parent’s ability to provide for their children, because there could be some shifting of finances in regards to child support, alimony, and property division that enables a parent to provide for a child.
The best interests of the child are used to determine legal custody issues and physical custody issues, such as whether a court will award joint legal custody or sole legal custody. These factors can also impact the court’s decision on awarding joint physical custody, determining a primary physical custodian, or awarding sole physical custody. Potential outcomes would be based on the facts and circumstances of each case.
Divorce lawyers could assist the individual in presenting their case by gathering the documentation and evidence. A lawyer could help guide court-appointed experts such as a guardian ad litem or a custody evaluator in their investigation and ensure that they talk to certain people, review evidence, and present it in a certain way to help the individual succeed in the custody dispute. A lawyer could undoubtedly help with determining the best interests of children in Atlanta custody agreements.
When the children want something different from what is deemed to be in their best interests, the case could proceed depending on the age of the children as well as the type of proceedings. If a judge has heard all the evidence, there is not much that can be done unless the situation changes years later and the child wants to make a change. There is nothing the children can do if they do not like a ruling after all the evidence has been presented.
A situation that fits the best of interests of the children can change over time because their needs can change as well as their parents and the parents’ ability to provide for them. A child may have specific needs that manifest after an initial ruling in terms of health, education, activities, or religious upbringing. Either parent may have changes in terms of their personal fitness, such as overcoming mental health or substance abuse issues, and could now qualify for additional custody time, or they could have developed problems that have negatively impacted their parenting capacity. A change can be based on the best interests standard if there is a new threat to the children.
If you are attempting to gain custody rights or parenting time with your children, consider speaking with a qualified family attorney. Whether you are preparing for an initial custody battle or your children’s needs have changed enough to warrant another look at your case, a lawyer could help you advocate for your and your children’s rights in court. Call our team today to learn more about your options and determining the best interests of children in Atlanta custody agreements.