Regular communication and interaction between a parent and their child is often necessary to ensure the child develops into a healthy, productive adult. In many situations, however, parents are unable to see or contact their children regularly due to custody disputes. For help with these disputes, reach out to a Forsyth County child custody lawyer from our firm to help you obtain the custody rights you deserve.
One of our dedicated family attorneys could help you assess potential legal options. This may include filing for increased visitation rights or petitions for joint custody. Child custody arrangements often influence a family’s well-being over the long term, which may make it extremely important to go through the correct procedures to produce a quality agreement.
Parents may be eligible for different types of child custody arrangements based on their specific circumstances. In many cases, a person could file for physical custody and legal custody, as well as joint custody or sole custody. Both physical and legal custody typically must be addressed and such discussions may also include joint or sole custody.
Generally, joint custody refers to a parenting situation in which both parents share physical and legal custody of their children. This could mean the children usually spend a specific amount of time per week living with one parent and the remainder of the time living with the other parent. In joint custody situations, both parents are usually responsible for making decisions about the health, education, and welfare of their children.
By contrast, sole custody refers to a situation where one parent typically has all or a vast majority of parenting time with the children or is the only parent able to make major decisions over the children. In these cases, the other parent may—with a Forsyth County child custody attorney’s help—petition for visitation rights that enable them to visit the children for a specific amount of time each week.
Visits may either be supervised or unsupervised. Generally, supervised visitation only occurs in situations where a court believes the child’s safety is in danger. For example, under Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-7, a court may order supervised visitation if the parent has previously committed an act of family violence, such as domestic violence.
In most cases where child custody is an issue, Georgia law may require both parents to submit a parenting plan, according to O.C.G.A. §19-9-1. Parents may submit a joint parenting plan if they wish, but either way, a parenting plan typically must contain the following information:
Once parents submit their parenting plans, a court reviews the circumstances of the case and may use it to inform their decision on a child custody arrangement. According to O.C.G.A. §19-9-3, courts may decide custody based on the best interests of the child, which may include the following factors:
Additionally, a court may consider the criminal history of either parent, including evidence of family violence, child abuse, or drug abuse. Since courts may make custody arrangements on a case-by-case basis, parents that need help obtaining custody could benefit from contacting a local lawyer.
Custody issues could be complex and involve detailed legal arguments. If you have a child custody issue, you may benefit from contacting a qualified Forsyth County child custody lawyer to help you resolve your problem. Our attorneys could sit down with you and review your case to better understand the wants and needs of your family. Additionally, a compassionate family lawyer could research applicable laws and previous court rulings to help inform potential legal strategies and enhance results. Call our intake team today to start addressing your custody disputes.
By: Sandra M
Atlanta Divorce Law Group