Child custody disputes can be mentally and emotionally draining, but fortunately, they can also be resolved with a little bit of help from a dedicated family attorney. If you need help, a Marietta child custody lawyer from our firm would be happy to provide it. A member of our team can sit down with you and review your current situation, including any current custody arrangements, to determine the optimal way of pursuing a positive outcome.

Understanding Different Types of Child Custody in Marietta

Child-sharing arrangements in our area typically involve various forms of custody that address different aspects of caring and being responsible for a minor child. The major elements that a local child custody attorney could help address include:

  • Physical custody
  • Legal custody
  • Visitation arrangements

What is Physical Custody?

Physical custody is essentially just what it sounds like: a determination of which parent a child physically lives with on which dates. In the State of Georgia, a court must always make the final determination on how much time a child spends living with each parent based on that child’s best interests. In joint custody situations, parents split their parenting time evenly or roughly evenly, whereas the child lives only with one parent in sole custody cases.

What is Legal Custody?

The term “legal custody” refers to the power each parent has to determine their child’s future and make important decisions on their behalf, including those related to the child’s religion, schooling, and healthcare. By default, parents share joint legal custody, meaning they each have the right to decide on these issues. However, a court may limit such rights if it finds that a joint agreement is not in the child’s best interests.

What Are Visitation Arrangements?

When one parent has sole physical custody of a child, the other parent often has a visitation arrangement allowing them to visit the child at a specific time or under specific circumstances. As with physical and legal custody, the court makes the final decision in regards to a non-custodial parent’s visitation rights.

Determining Custody Orders

When deciding on a child custody case, a court endeavors to order an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child, per the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-3. In making this decision, a judge may consider a variety of factors, such as:

  • The relationship the child has with both parents
  • The stability of each parent’s home environment
  • The suitability of each parent’s home for the child
  • The mental and physical health of each parent

Children 14 years of age or over may have input on the decision regarding which parent they wish to live with. As for parents, a lawyer in Marietta can provide additional information about child custody determinations and how courts usually decide such issues.

Deciding on a Custody Agreement

Parents may also decide custody arrangements for themselves to a certain extent. Under O.C.G.A. §19-9-5, parents may use such an agreement to decide on any and all issues concerning the custody of a child.

The court would then incorporate the agreement’s provisions into a final custody order, unless it decides the agreement is not in the best interests of the child. In such situations, however, the court must make specific written factual findings to support its judgment. A seasoned and knowledgeable attorney can help establish a viable child-sharing agreement.

A Marietta Child Custody Attorney is Available to Help

Child custody issues are often sensitive since they disproportionately impact the lives of children. As such, parents who need help resolving child custody issues should contact a Marietta child custody lawyer for professional assistance.

An attorney familiar with Georgia child custody laws can review your case and provide more information about how to best proceed. Call our firm today to set up a meeting with our intake team and get started on your case.

to speak to a member of our team today.
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