You may be facing the impending breakdown of your marriage, a separation from your long-term partner, or were never married to your child’s other parent. In any of these circumstances, you may have concerns about what this could mean regarding custody and visitation rights. The best interests of any children you share with your former spouse or partner will always be of chief concern to Georgia courts and will ultimately determine the outcome of any custody case.
However, most family court systems look favorably upon custody and visitation arrangements where both parents continue to play an active role in the child’s life, provided that doing so does not adversely impact the child’s overarching interests. A Gwinnett County visitation lawyer can answer your questions about parenting plans. Our trusted family attorneys will work diligently on your behalf to help you preserve and assert your parental rights and responsibilities, whether the current set of circumstances you face are contentious or amicable.
The terms custody and visitation are often confused with one another. However, these terms are different in the context of their legal meaning. Custody rights fall into two categories: physical and legal. If you are a parent that is awarded physical custody, this means that your child lives with you part or all of the time.
On the other hand, legal custody has to do with the ability to make decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions can range from day-to-day matters to issues such as the religion the child will practice, where they will receive medical care, and the educational institution they will attend.
Family courts approve or grant a range of custodial arrangements. Some parents may share physical custody while only one has legal custody, or vice versa. In other cases, both parents may share physical and legal custody. Sometimes, one parent will retain both forms of custodial rights. The concept of visitation generally comes into play when one parent is granted primary physical custody of the child while the other parent seeks the ability to spend time with the child.
In some cases, non-parents such as grandparents may seek visitation rights to ensure continued time with the child, but as with any other means of access to the child, the court will use the best interest test. A Gwinnett County attorney can help you create and present a detailed visitation schedule to the family court.
Many factors can influence the court’s determination to sign off on a custody and visitation schedule. Your relationship with your child, and with the child’s other parent, your respective living and financial circumstances, and any other factors that could encourage or deter your child’s best interests can guide the court’s final ruling.
A Gwinnett County attorney can establish a visitation agreement that includes parameters such as your child’s schedule with each parent during the week and on the weekends. A visitation agreement can also include provisions that account for holidays taken by each parent and which parent will be with the child on school holidays. A detailed visitation agreement should also include parameters such as the acceptable solution when either parent cannot show up for their allocated time with the child or if an emergency occurs.
During this time, the best interests of your child and ensuring your access as a parent will remain of the utmost concern. Having a Gwinnett County visitation lawyer on your side throughout the custody determination process can give you your best chance at achieving the most favorable outcome possible.
At the Atlanta Divorce Law Group, our firm can provide the advocacy and guidance you require while ensuring your case receives the attention it deserves. Call now to speak with a qualified team member about asserting your visitation rights and to learn more about your best legal options.