Atlanta, GA Equitable Caregiver Lawyer

The traditional home setup of a mother, father, and 2.5 children is no longer the standard in all households. Families today are comprised of all different types of arrangements. Children are often raised in a home with stepparents, grandparents, or other adults who have distant or no biological ties to them. Sometimes, these adults bond with the children and provide guidance and care. When families split up or separate, those adults often want to continue caring for and visiting the children they have spent so much time with.

A compassionate Atlanta, GA equitable caregiver lawyer understands the seriousness of those bonds and can work tirelessly to help you maintain those close relationships by helping you pursue legal recognition for your relationship with the child. Our attorneys can also help you fight against that legal recognition if you feel it is not appropriate.

Understanding the Equitable Caregiver Act

In the past, unrelated adults did not have the opportunity to maintain access to a child who was not biologically their own. For instance, in the event of a divorce between a stepparent and a biological parent, that stepparent would have no legal rights to continue caring for or even seeing the child. Fortunately, Georgia lawmakers recently recognized that people other than biological parents can provide a significant role in a child’s upbringing.

Under Georgia Code §19-7-3.1, Georgia family courts can declare someone to be an equitable caregiver. As an equitable caregiver, a person can seek either custody or visitation rights. Equitable caregiver status does not automatically give someone joint or sole custody or the right to specific visitation times with a child. However, it does give a caregiver legal standing and the right to pursue a claim in a Georgia family court. Once a caregiver has legal standing, they need to prove that it is in the best interests of the child for the family court to grant them visitation or custody.

Our experienced Atlanta, GA attorneys are very familiar with the Equitable Caregiver Act. They can take the time to explain how it might apply to you and your family.

How to Qualify as an Equitable Caregiver Under Georgia Law

To qualify as an equitable caregiver, someone must prove the following to a Georgia family court:

  • They have undertaken a responsible, permanent, committed parental role in the life of the child or children;
  • They have taken part in the children’s caretaking;
  • They have behaved like a parent, by establishing a dependent and bonded relationship with the children, and the relationship was supported by the children’s parent;
  • They accepted permanent and full responsibility as the children’s parent – while providing this care and responsibility, they did not expect to receive financial compensation in exchange for that care; and
  • Continuing the relationship with the children is in the children’s best interests and that the children would experience emotional or physical harm without the relationship.

Our diligent Atlanta equitable caregiver attorneys can help you find evidence to show the value of your relationship, such as witnesses who can testify about the bond and the impact your relationship has had on the child.

Call an Atlanta, GA Equitable Caregiver Attorney

Our legal team understands the value of all types of familial relationships, regardless of whether or not there is a direct blood tie to a child. An Atlanta, GA equitable caregiver lawyer can help you fight to protect your bond.

If you believe you might qualify as an equitable caregiver, you should contact our legal team. Come in for a free consultation with a dedicated advocate.

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