Many parents naturally take for granted that they will be able to see and talk to their children every day. Unfortunately, some parents are unable to see their kids as often as they would like due to custody disputes or restrictive custody arrangements.

If you would like to negotiate more time with your children or ensure that a pending custody order matches your interests, contact a Roswell child custody lawyer as soon as possible. Our team of experienced family law attorneys could be dedicated to fighting for your parental rights and petitioning on your behalf for new or expanded custody rights that fit your needs and those of your child.

Parenting Plan Requirements

Georgia courts may decide child custody issues as part of a divorce or as a separate court action. In either situation, Official Code of Georgia §19-9-1 requires both parents to submit a parenting plan.

Parents may submit a joint plan if they are able to come to an agreement, or each parent may submit their own plan. Either way, a valid parenting plan must include the following:

  • Recognition that the parent with whom the child physically resides would make day-to-day decisions regarding the child
  • Time periods when the child would be in each parent’s physical care
  • Allocation of general decision-making authority regarding the child
  • Any limitations on contacting the child or accessing the child’s medical, educational, or other similar information

Any parent who fails to submit a parenting plan is at risk of the court adopting the plan submitted by the other parent. A child custody attorney in Roswell could provide assistance to anyone who needs assistance drafting an enforceable parenting plan for their situation.

Arbitration of Child Custody Issues

Parents may, if they wish, submit any or all of their child custody issues to binding arbitration, according to O.C.G.A. §19-9-1.1. Parents have the right to choose their arbitrator and decide which issues may be resolved through this process.

Generally, the arbitrator’s decision is final, and a court would implement the decision into its custody decree. However, a judge still retains the authority to decide on issues left unresolved by arbitration if necessary.

Deciding Custody and Visitation

Usually, Georgia courts decide custody and visitation issues according to the best interests of the child. Under O.C.G.A. §19-9-3, a court may take various factors into consideration when making such decisions, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • The bond existing between the child and each parent
  • The capacity and ability of each parent to give the child love, affection, and guidance
  • Each parent’s knowledge of the child and their needs
  • The health and employment schedule of each parent

Additionally, courts may take into account each parent’s criminal history, especially with respect to domestic violence and a history of substance abuse. Anyone seeking further information and advice on how a court may decide their custody case should contact a skilled Roswell child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

How a Roswell Child Custody Attorney Could Help

Child custody issues are often complex and challenging, and many parents, unfortunately, need to go through lengthy court battles to have a custody arrangement they are comfortable with. Hiring a Roswell child custody lawyer may be the best way to help ensure you have sufficient time with your children.

Our legal team is familiar with relevant Georgia laws and could help defend your parental rights in court. We are committed to understanding your needs and making sure you receive the best result possible. If you need assistance with new or expanded custody rights, call our firm today to set up an initial consultation.

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