The issue of child custody arises when:
- A married couple files for a divorce
- Two unmarried people can’t agree who should house and care for the child
- Both parents die or abandon the child
- A parent or legal guardian is determined unfit or poses a danger to the child.
In all states, child custody arrangements must be based on the best interest of the child. What determines custody varies from state to state.
Are There Different Types of Custody in Georgia?
Yes. Child custody arrangements consider who the child will live with, and who will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of the child.
- Joint custody: is when both parents share custody, or the child lives with one parent and both parents decide medical care and education issues.
- Sole Custody: One parent has custody of the child, and the other parent has visitation rights, or one parent has complete custody of the child, and no visitation rights are provided to the other parent.=
How Will a Georgia Court Determine Custody?
The court looks at several factors in a custody case, including:
- The home situation of each parent
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- Each parent’s ability to support the child
- The child’s age
- Special or medical needs of the child
- Both parents’ ability to communicate and cooperate for the good of their child
- History of violence of either parent.
How are Visitation Rights determined in Georgia?
The court assumes the child would benefit from spending time with both parents unless there is some evidence that the child would be put in danger by spending time with one of the parents. Other family members can also ask the court for visitation rights.
Will Georgia modify an existing Custody Order?
If both parents agree to a change to the custody order, a revised plan can be filed you can file with the court, and the court will likely accept the revision.
If one parent wants to change the order, but the other does not, a custody hearing will be necessary. The parent requesting the change needs to provide evidence that a change is warranted, such as:
- One parent is moving
- The child is at risk in the present living accommodation
- One parent’s work schedule is different than when custody was originally decided
- One parent is not following some part of the current order
Tyler Moffitt is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices Carrollton, LaGrange, and Columbus, GA. He graduated from John Marshall Law School, and has been practicing for several years now. Tyler Moffitt takes great honor in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.