If you and your child’s other parent are separating and need to draft an effective custody schedule, let an experienced attorney help you advocate for the best interests of your family. No matter where you are in the process, a Crabapple child custody lawyer can answer any questions you may have about parenting time schedules and decision-making rights.

Child Custody Laws in Crabapple

Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-44-104 covers all aspects of child custody law. This includes both physical and legal custody, the factors the court will consider when assigning rights between parents, as well as how to provide a child with consistency when custody must be split between parents living in different states.

Physical vs Legal Custody

According to state law, physical custody refers to where and with which parent the child will live. The courts acknowledge the benefits of spending equal time with both parents for a child and typically prefer to award joint physical custody. In cases where this would not be in the child’s best interests, the court may order one parent over the other to house and care for the child most of the time.

A parent’s right to make major life decisions regarding their child’s schooling, medical needs, and religious upbringing is known as legal custody. Like physical custody,  courts prefer to award parents with joint decision-making rights to promote communication and collaboration. Otherwise, either parent may petition the court to consider awarding them with sole legal custody if they believe joint would not serve their child’s best interests.

Impact of Custody on a Parent’s Financial Obligations

Courts take into account the physical and legal custody arrangement when calculating the amount of support one parent must provide to the other to cover child-care costs. It is important to keep this in mind when petitioning the court for your desired schedule. An attorney who practices in Crabapple can help you strategize how to obtain the best child-sharing arrangement with financial support in mind.

Important Factors in Local Child Custody Agreements

Each child-sharing arrangement will take into account the best interests of the child first, as well as the resources, obligations, and responsibilities of each parent. Under O.C.G.A. §19-9-3(a)(3), a judge must consider a variety of factors when deciding custody rights, including but not limited to:

  • The bond between either parent and the child;
  • Relationships between the child and their siblings or step-siblings;
  • Both parents’ ability to raise the child;
  • Both parents’ ability to provide for the child’s needs – physical as well as emotional – on a daily basis;
  • The stability of both households;
  • The preference of a child who is at least 14 years of age and who exhibits the maturity to understand the consequences of a custody decision; and
  • Evidence of family violence or substance abuse

A Crabapple attorney can help parents present evidence to support a proposed child custody arrangement and obtain an outcome that works for their family.

Visitation Schedules

When parents don’t share joint physical custody, a parenting time schedule must provide visitation time to the non-custodial parent. Visitation schedules give non-custodial parents an opportunity to spend meaningful time with their children to promote the growth of their relationship. Specifically, visitation will define weekly visits, as well as where the child will spend their holidays, school breaks, birthdays, and other major events.

Contact a Crabapple Child Custody Attorney Today

If you are divorcing your child’s other parent, let a Crabapple child custody lawyer help you throughout every step of the process. Our team can answer your legal questions and advocate for your children’s best interests on your behalf. Call our intake team to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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