The law in Marietta and throughout the State presumes that both parents to a child have equal rights to custody and support. However, situations arise where the local family court grants sole physical custody to one parent. Still, this does not mean the other parent can’t play a major role in their child’s life.
Parents without custodial access usually retain visitation rights, which allow a parent to spend time with their child. A fair visitation schedule might allow both parties to remain on good terms and prevent potential custody order violations in the future.
A Marietta visitation lawyer from our team can help you assert your right to spend time with your child. One of our child custody attorneys can also help you enforce an existing parenting schedule or apply for modifications that will best serve your child’s needs.
Visitation is never a court’s first choice for maintaining the parent/child relationship. In fact, Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-3 states that all parents, regardless of gender, have equal chance rights to retain custody over their children. This means that, ideally, both parents who do not live together will share joint custody, and the child spends overnight time in both households.
However, this arrangement is not always in the best interests of the child. If a local judge awards sole physical custody to one parent, the law presumes that the other should be awarded visitation rights. The Cobb County Superior Court will only take these measures in Marietta visitation cases if a parent is deemed to be unfit to care for their child due to a history of domestic violence, drug abuse, or incarceration.
Once a family court grants visitation rights to a non-custodial parent, both parents are legally bound by that order. For a custodial parent, this means bringing the child to the designated place at the agreed upon time. For the parent with visitation rights, it means being present to take care of the child and respecting the custodial parent’s decision-making authority.
Conflict over visitation plans is unfortunately common. If the custodial parent refuses to produce the child at the designated time, they can be held in contempt of court. The same is true if the other parent does not return the child on time. More serious allegations can include instances of alleged abuse or neglect.
If a court determines that a parent with visitation rights is a threat to their child, it can order that visitation become supervised or terminate their visitation rights altogether under O.C.G.A. §19-9-7. A Marietta attorney from our firm can help you advocate for visitation rights in court or help you argue that a violation of an existing order has jeopardized your child’s safety.
Parents who do not have custody over their children have the right to remain a positive influence in their kids’ lives. A court-ordered visitation plan carries the full weight of the law, and a violation can lead to serious legal consequences. A Marietta visitation lawyer can help you with every part of this process. Contact our team today to help give your kids a more stable future.