According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one-third of Atlanta children reside in single-parent households. Kids in these circumstances often spend time at the residences of both of their parents, even if only one of them has primary custody.

When couples who share kids get divorced, arranging an equitable parenting schedule can become a hostile and contentious process. Adept legal intervention from a member of our team may be necessary to achieve a just and reasonable agreement.

If you need help creating a child-sharing plan to allocate quality time with your kids, consider retaining a seasoned family law attorney. A skilled Atlanta child custody lawyer can provide diligent assistance with arranging a parenting plan that is fair to all involved parties.

Custody Decisions for the Best Interests of Children

Atlanta courts are required to prioritize the interests of involved children when fashioning a custody order. Per the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §15-11-26, family court decrees must benefit the needs of each child. Ideally, this means the conclusion to a custody case should ensure that the children receive emotional bonding, love, and ties with both parents.

A judge would consider several elements when deciding whether a custody agreement would benefit the children. For example, the ages and interests of the children, as well as the home environments of both parents’ current residences, weigh heavily on a judge’s decision. Fortunately, an experienced Atlanta child custody attorney can help parents advocate for their kids’ best interests to a judge.

Custody Wishes of Children

Atlanta courts may allow an older child to have some say in where they want to live. However, the tribunal would have the final deciding power on whether their wishes represent their best interests.

Older children may decide where they want to primarily reside, as O.C.G.A. §19-9-3(a)(5) allows kids aged 14 and older to choose their custodial parent. However, if the court deems that their decision is not in their best interests, it may deny their choice.

Additionally, kids between the ages of 11 and 14 may request to live with either parent. Because of the younger ages of these children, the court could make a temporary order for primary custody that may be revisited after a period of six months. A dedicated child custody lawyer in Atlanta may have experience with cases where minors have chosen their primary custodial parent.

Alternative Mediation

When former partners cannot agree on a child custody arrangement, the courts can order them to attend alternative dispute resolution under O.C.G.A §19-5-1. Alternative dispute resolutions are sometimes court-sponsored amenities which involve a mediator.

A neutral third party might be able to help an estranged couple resolve contested issues regarding the custody of their children. If parties still cannot agree after a session with a mediator, unresolved child-sharing issues may be decided by a judge.

Call an Atlanta Child Custody Attorney Today

There are many factors that a couple must consider when they split up, including and especially child custody. A knowledgeable Atlanta child custody lawyer can assist with arranging child-sharing schedules as part of a written agreement. Call today to schedule a consultation with a legal professional skilled in this area of family law.

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