Every child has the right to a healthy and happy childhood. A major part of this for many children is spending quality time with both parents. Unfortunately, circumstances like the divorce or separation of parents can make this difficult.
In situations where one parent is awarded sole physical custody of a child, the court may grant visitation rights to the other. This means that the parent without custody would still have the opportunity to spend time with their child and remain a positive influence in their life.
As a result, it is critical to approach visitation hearings with a firm understanding of the law, although this may be difficult without a child custody attorney’s help. An Atlanta, GA visitation lawyer can help you assert your rights to spend time with your kids.
Family law courts in Atlanta must always make decisions in the best interests of a child when determining a visitation schedule. While Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-9-3 gives every parent equal rights over their children, local courts must balance the best interests of a child against the wishes of parents during custody and visitation hearings.
Local judges typically prefer to split parenting time as equally as possible between two parents. However, they retain the authority to grant sole physical custody to one parent. Fortunately, there is a presumption that the court will grant visitation on a regular basis to the non-custodial parent, as long as doing so would not go against the child’s best interests.
Not every visitation order is the same, as circumstances vary from case to case. For instance, one parent may receive visitation rights every weekend, while another is only allowed to spend one night per week with their child.
While most visitation is unsupervised, meaning that the parent and child spend time together alone, the courts must still ensure that leaving the child alone with that parent would not jeopardize their safety. Under O.C.G.A. § 19-9-7, family law judges have great discretion to limit a parent’s visitation rights if they are found to have committed family violence.
If a court believes that granting unsupervised visitation places a child at risk of harm, it may order supervised visitation where the parent and child meet in the presence of a family member or licensed social worker. A Georgia attorney can help parents identify which visitation plans work best for them.
Few things in life are as important as the relationship between a parent and their child. However, family law judges must always make decisions in the best interests of a child. As a result, many parents find that they lose custody over children and must seek visitation rights to remain in their child’s life.
An Atlanta, GA visitation lawyer can help you fight for a fair parenting plan that promotes your child’s well-being. We can represent non-custodial parents who are seeking to stay in their child’s life as well as custodial parents who are looking to protect their children against potentially dangerous situations. Consider reaching out to our intake team today to learn more about how we can help you exercise your right to visitation.