Child Custody & Visitation
Learn about Georgia child custody and visitation laws, and how our law firm can protect your interests.
Child Custody in Georgia
Child custody and visitation has a profound impact on the future of children and both parents. Parents and their divorce lawyers work to reach an agreement on custody and visitation. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement a divorce court judge will make the final decision.
Divorces in Georgia involving children include assigning physical custody and legal custody. Regarding physical custody, one parent is designated as having primary physical custodial and the other parent is designated as having secondary physical custody. The primary physical custodial parent generally has the final decision making authority on decisions in the co-parenting process.
You have the right to change custody and visitation.If your feelings or life circumstances later change you can petition the court to change custody and visitation by filing a modification action. Generally, you have to wait at least one year after your divorce decree is issued to file for a modification. You can file for a modification only every two years.
Legal & Physical Custody
Physical Custody refers to which parent’s home will be the primary residence for the child. The parent awarded physical custody typically has greater day-to-day responsibilities for the care of the child. In amicable divorce situations physical custody can be softly managed to allow the child ample visitation with the non-custodial parent.
Legal Custody refers to the authority to make decisions regarding critical areas of the child’s upbringing. Legal custody matters include medical care, education, religion, extracurricular activities, and related items. Parental ideas on legal custody matters usually do not change substantially after the divorce. Accordingly, there are rarely any conflicts between parents on legal custody matters.
Sole Or Joint Custody
Joint Custody means parents share decision making authority regarding how to raise their children. Joint custody mandates that both parents discuss any major decisions about the child’s upbringing.
Sole Custody means one parent has exclusive custodial rights and the other parent has no direct control. Sole custody typically occurs when a parent as problematic behaviors such as child abuse or substance abuse. Parents who are denied visitation rights can still be ordered to pay child support payments.
Temporary Child Custody
Temporary child custody is deternined by the court to provide stability while the divorce process runs its course. Typically, temporary custody is given to the parent who lives in the existing marital home. If you disagree with the decision on temporary custody you can request an emergency hearing to have a judge chenge the situation.
Visitation Schedules & Co-Parenting
Visitation schedules and your co-parenting are the core parts of your divorce. While there are customary visitation schedules, parents are free to create the schedule that meets their preferences. Courts in the State of Georgia strongly prefer that parents work in a coopertive manner in serving the best interests of their children.