If you have children and are considering a divorce in Georgia, you’re probably concerned about issues like custody and visitation rights. In Georgia, these issues are decided based on several factors. In order to understand how courts make decisions regarding children in Georgia divorce cases, please review the information below, and contact an experienced Georgia divorce attorney as soon as possible.
How courts make custody decisions
When making custody decisions in Georgia, courts attempt to determine what is in the best interest of the child. Judges make this determination based on an examination of several factors, including:
- Each parent’s work schedule and routine
- Each parent’s mental, physical, and emotional health
- Each parent’s education level
- The ability of each parent to provide for the child
- The custody motives of each parent
- Each parent’s willingness to have a meaningful relationship with the child
Types of custody in Georgia
In Georgia, there are four types of custody: (1) sole physical custody, (2) joint physical custody, (3) sole legal custody, and 4) joint legal custody.
Sole physical custody is a situation in which a child lives with only one parent. Joint physical custody, however, allows a child to spend time living with both parents. Courts generally prefer joint custody unless it isn’t in the best interests of the child. Sole legal custody grants one parent the ability to make decisions for his or her child, such as educational or medical decisions. Joint legal custody, on the other hand, permits both parents to make such decisions for their child. It is uncommon for one parent with sole physical custody to lack legal custody. However, it is common for both parents to have an equal say in the lives of their child unless other factors prohibit such an arrangement. In addition, it is common for one parent to have final decision-making authority if both parents can’t make a joint decision. This type of final decision-making authority is sometimes split for certain categories of decisions affecting a child. Finally, even if equal joint physical custody is determined to be unattainable in a particular situation, the other parent is almost always permitted to visit his or her child.
Contact Our Lithonia Divorce Attorney
If you are considering a divorce, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to represent your interests. At the law office of E.N. Banks-Ware, we work to help clients achieve positive outcomes in divorce proceedings. Equally adept at managing highly contested divorces or negotiating settlements, our primary concern is protecting your interests and the well-being of your children. In addition, when a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to represent our clients in court. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce in Lithonia County or elsewhere in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation.