Child custody is an important issue in many cases where couples separate or divorce. Custody arrangements can come in many forms and often depend on the circumstances of each case.

For an analysis of your Georgia child custody issue, contact a Fulton County child custody lawyer from our firm. A dedicated attorney could review your specific case and answer any questions you may have. Our team could advise you on your best options for obtaining custody rights and represent you in court to help you get the custody arrangement that works best for you and your children.

Child Custody and Parenting Plans

In any court case where child custody is at issue, parents must usually submit a parenting plan to the court, according to Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-1. Parenting plans must include the following information:

  • Time and place when a child will be in each parent’s physical care
  • How and where holidays, birthdays, and special occasions will be spent
  • Transportation arrangements for exchanging the child between parents
  • Allocation of decision-making authority with respect to a child’s health, welfare, and education

In other words, parenting plans must provide details of how much time each parent has with the child and on which days of the week. Additionally, plans must describe how the parents will decide what is best for the child. If they agree that they will jointly make such decisions, the parenting plan must include a mechanism for resolving any disputes, as per O.C.G.A. §19-9-1.

If the parents are unable to decide on a joint parenting plan, each parent may submit their own plan, according to O.C.G.A. §19-9-1. Any parent who needs assistance with parenting plans may benefit from contacting a Fulton County child custody attorney.

Child Custody Proceedings

In all Georgia child custody proceedings, courts do not assume that the child is better with either one of the parents, according to O.C.G.A. §19-9-3. Rather, a judge would decide a child custody arrangement based on the specific circumstances of each case, in accordance with the best interests of the child. Such custody arrangements may include sole physical custody for one parent or joint physical custody for both parents.

Under O.C.G.A. §19-9-3, a judge may consider any relevant factor to determine the best interests of the child, including but not limited to:

  • Emotional ties between the child and each parent
  • Ability and willingness of each parent to provide care and guidance
  • Home environment of each parent
  • Health of each parent

Additionally, a judge may consider any past history of substance abuse or domestic violence in determining a custody arrangement. A Fulton County child custody lawyer may be able to provide additional information on how a court may decide child custody issues in a given case.

Preference of the Child

If a child is 14 years of age or older, they have the right to select the parent with whom they want to live, according to O.C.G.A. §19-9-3. The child’s choice is presumptive, meaning that a judge will generally not override that choice unless they explicitly find the choice is not in the child’s best interests. It should be noted that a child turning 14 may, in and of itself, be sufficient grounds for a court to reexamine a past custody arrangement.

Contact a Fulton County Child Custody Attorney for Assistance Today

In some cases, parents may need legal assistance with obtaining child custody or visitation rights. If you need such legal help in Georgia, call a Fulton County child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

Once retained, a dedicated attorney from our firm could sit down with you and determine the best course of action for your specific situation. We could provide you with any legal resources you need and work with you to help ensure a favorable outcome. We could also represent you in any court hearings to help obtain a custody arrangement you are satisfied with. If you need child custody assistance, do not delay. Get in touch with our legal team about your Fulton County child custody case immediately.

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