Most parents understandably want a custody arrangement that guarantees the most amount of time with their children. As such, child custody issues can often be contentious and difficult, especially in the middle of an already complex divorce.
If you have a child custody issue in Georgia, contact a Buckhead child custody lawyer for assistance. Our team is familiar with handling a wide variety of custody issues, and an experienced family law attorney at our firm could review your situation and inform you of all possible routes to take in your unique situation.
Courts usually decide child custody issues during or shortly after a permanent separation or divorce. At this point in a case, a court would decide which parent has physical custody or whether both parents should share custody.
A court may also decide whether either parent has visitation rights, and if so, the scope and frequency of such visitations. Each parent must provide a proposal to the court providing their proposed parenting arrangement.
Parties also have the option to agree to binding arbitration on any or all child custody issues, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-1.1. During arbitration, parents have the right to select their own arbiter and determine which issues will be resolved. However, they must abide by the arbiter’s decision. A court would then decide on any remaining issues.
If either parent suspects the other of child abuse or neglect, they or their Buckhead child custody lawyer could file a motion which contains specific recitations of any acts that have harmed the child or affected the child’s general welfare, according to O.C.G.A. §19-9-4.
A judge would then direct the appropriate agency, such as The Department of Children and Family Services, to investigate the allegations before deciding on custody arrangements for the child. If the investigation determines that one parent may pose a potential danger or threat to the child, the judge may reduce or even eliminate that parent’s ability to see or visit the child.
Many parents who do not receive physical custody of their child receive visitation rights instead, but in certain cases, a court may have concerns about whether such rights are in the child’s best interests. However, under O.C.G.A. §19-9-7, a court may still permit a parent who has committed child abuse or other acts of family violence to visit their child under certain conditions.
For example, the court may only allow supervised visitation or require the parent to pay a bond for the safety of the child. The court may implement other restrictions depending on the situation, such as:
• Prohibiting any overnight visitation periods;
• Requiring the visiting parent to abstain from consuming alcohol during the visitation and for the 24 hours preceding the visitation;
• Ordering the parent to pay any costs associated with supervised parenting time.
A judge also has the power to order the offending parent to complete a family violence intervention program. Those who need further information about visitation restrictions may wish to call a child custody attorney in Buckhead as soon as possible.
Most parents who face child custody issues have many questions such as how custody arrangements work and how much parenting time they may be able to have. A skilled Buckhead child custody lawyer could sit down with you and provide you with the information you need.
Your attorney could review your current situation and advise you on possible custody arrangements, always with the goal of helping you obtain the custody rights that you and your family deserve. For help with child custody matters, call today to schedule an initial meeting with our team.