Marietta Child Custody Lawyer

Custody issues can be taxing. In many situations, parents may be wondering how often they will get to see and spend time with their children. The good news is that custody arrangements vary from case to case and can be tailored to the needs of each parent.

If you need assistance with custody matters, get in touch with a Marietta child custody lawyer today. Our dedicated family attorneys have over 25 years of experience and could review your situation and advise you on the types of custody arrangements that might work for you and your family. An experienced family attorney could represent you throughout the divorce process and beyond to help protect your custody rights as well as the best interests of your children.

Process for Deciding Child Custody in Marietta

Georgia courts generally decide child custody issues as part of proceedings for divorce or legal separation. To avoid unnecessary disputes, parents may agree to binding arbitration on any issue involving child custody or visitation, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-1.1.

Parents may select the arbiter of their choosing as well as the issues the arbiter will resolve. A court may incorporate any decisions made by the arbiter unless it specifically determines that the decisions are not in the best interest of the child. Parents that need more information on arbitration to resolve child custody matters should contact a Marietta child custody attorney as soon as possible.

Creating Parenting Plans

Under O.C.G.A. §19-9-1, both parents must submit a parenting plan to the court to assist it in deciding custody matters. Each parent may submit their own parenting plan or both parents may submit a joint plan.

The plan must contain certain specific provisions, such as:

  • When and where each child will spend time
  • How the child will spend holidays and other special occasions
  • Transportation arrangements for the child
  • Visitation arrangements and whether supervision is necessary
  • Allocation of decision-making authority regarding the child

In other words, parenting plans serve as a template for each parent to propose how much parenting time they want and need. If either parent fails to submit a plan, the court generally has the power to adopt the other parent’s plan if that parent feels the plan is in the best interests of the child. A Marietta child custody lawyer could assist a parent in drafting a parenting plan that fits her or his needs.

Determining Best Interests of the Child

Courts usually decide custody issues, including parenting time and visitation arrangements, based on the best interests of the child. Under O.C.G.A. §19-9-3, a judge may consider any factor in making their decision, including:

  • The existing relationship between the child and each parent
  • The capacity of each parent to give the child guidance and support
  • Home environment of each parent
  • The health of each parent
  • Each parent’s employment schedule

In deciding child custody issues, a judge may grant joint custody to both parents, in which the child resides with each parent during different days of the week, or it may grant sole custody to one parent. A court may also decree that either parent have visitation rights during those times when the child does not live with them. Such visitation periods may be for specific lengths of time or at specific locations.

A Marietta child custody attorney can further explain how the best interests of the child may affect any potential decision.

Contact a Marietta Child Custody Attorney Today

If you are contemplating a divorce or are already in the midst of a divorce, you may be wondering how to protect your children. Parents in Georgia should contact a Marietta child custody lawyer for assistance with their case.

A practiced custody attorney is familiar with state law and could work with you to come up with a parenting plan and a proposed custody arrangement that meets your needs. For further information and assistance, contact a child custody attorney today.