Can My Child Choose Which Parent They Want To Live With
If your child is 11, 12, or 13 years old, the judge will consider the childs wishes, but the judge still has complete discretion. The childs wishes do not control the custody outcome.
The parental selection of a child 11, 12, or 13 years old is not considered a material change of condition or circumstance in order to seek a modification of child custody.
If your child is 14 years and older, the child does have the right to choose the parent he or she wants to live with. The parent the child chooses will be the custodial parent unless the court finds that the chosen parent is not in the best interests of the child.
The parental selection of a child who is 14 years and older can, in and of itself, be considered a material change of condition or circumstance when seeking a modification of child custody.
Legal Custody In Georgia
Legal custody gives a parent the ability to access school and medical records, make medical decisions for the child, etc. In most divorce cases, both parents will retain legal custody in what is called joint legal custody.
Georgia law recognizes four main areas of parenting decisions pertaining to legal custody:
The law requires parents in a joint legal custody arrangement to make a good faith effort to discuss and agree on the parenting decisions affecting the child.
However, if the parents are unable to agree, one parent will be deemed the tie-breaker so that a final decision can be made. Georgia law requires a tie-breaker parent because a child cannot remain in limbo forever. One parent can be the tie-breaker for all four parenting areas listed above, or the parents can divide the tie-breaker status.
The mother may be the tie-breaker for education and extra-curricular activities, and the father may be tie-breaker for medical and religious upbringing.
If one parent has sole legal custody with the other parent having no legal rights to the child, the parent without legal custody cannot make any decisions regarding the child. This does not mean, however, that the parent without legal custody cannot see the child.
Types Of Child Custody In Georgia
Georgia recognizes two types of custody physical and legal custody. A parent with physical custody lives with the child. Parents can share physical custody or one parent may have sole physical custody. When parents share joint custody in Georgia, they have roughly equal time with the child. For example, one parent may have four overnights per week and the other parent may have three.
A parent with legal custody may make major medical, legal, educational, and religious decisions on the child’s behalf. In many cases, a judge will award parents joint legal custody. Joint legal custody in Georgia means that both parents have a say in all major decisions involving their children.
Generally, in cases where parents share legal and physical custody, one parent will be designated the “primary custodial parent.” This parent has the final say in decisions involving the child when the parents can’t agree. Generally, the parent who spends more time with the child will be designated the “custodial parent” and the other parent will be designated as the “noncustodial parent”.
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Faqs About Joint 50/50 Custody In Georgia
The Georgia courts do not give preference to mothers when deciding custody issues, so fathers should not be at any disadvantage when seeking 50/50 custody. The main factors influencing the decision will be the best interest of the child and the ability of the parents to work together and carry out any joint custody agreement.
Child support in Georgia is calculated based on a formula that takes into account the income of both parents and necessary expenses for the child. There are several adjustments the court can choose to apply to these, and one of these is known as the parenting time deviation.
If you are caring for the child for more time than average, either because of joint custody or increased visitation, your child support responsibility may be reconfigured at the discretion of the courts. Each situation will be evaluated based on the best interests of the child, however, and joint custody does not always equal lower child support payments.
Most people have heard of joint custody situations where the child spends one week with one parent and the next with the other, but there are many other arrangements that work well for both children and parents.
Consider your childs needs and temperament as well as your own obligations when figuring out the right custody schedule for everyone.
Other Child Custody Matters
Child Custody Modifications
Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys For You and Your Children.
As your childs needs and best interests shift, your final order may need to be modified. For the custody order to be modified the court typically requires that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.As with any matter involving your children, the court will consider the best interest of the children when determining whether a modification is warranted.Brown & Dutton Law Firm understands that your children are your number one priority, and we will be your fierce advocates. Get in touch with us so you can learn about your options.
Child Custody Across States
Navigating custody agreements and deciding which one is best for you family is a complex process. The process gets even more complex when two parents live in different states and can often cause issues to come up that arent normally an issue when living in the same state.
Grandparents Rights Custody
Under special circumstances Grandparents can ask the court for visitation rights, and on even more special circumstances get custody of their grandchildren.
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How Can A Father Get Full Custody Of Their Child In Georgia
Crystal Wright | December 17, 2021 | Child Custody
Child custody laws are changing. When parents disagreed over a custody arrangement in the past, the law favored the mother. It was assumed that a mother was the primary caretaker and better fit to care for the childs well-being.
This is no longer the case. Child custody laws have increasingly moved toward viewing both parents as equally important to the childs well-being and equally capable of caring for a child.
How Is Child Custody Handled In An Uncontested Divorce
In uncontested divorce, spouses file the paperwork only after they resolve all their divorce-related disputes, specifically those concerning their kids. To show the court that they are in agreement, they have to develop a Georgia parenting plan and present it to the judge.
A parenting plan includes both custody aspects and visitation schedule unless the spouses think about getting joint custody. If spouses cannot agree on some points of the plan, they may hire a mediator who will help them reach a consensus.
Filing for custody in Georgia while divorcing, spouses will have to attend a seminar that will teach them how to help their children cope with the changing family dynamics. Divorcees will have to file a certificate proving they have passed the course before the hearing.
Create a free account to check your eligibility for divorce. Preparing legal forms is never easy, but we can help you on every step of the process.
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How Does A Judge Determine Child Custody
There are many factors that a judge considers before awarding custody of a child to a parent, but the bottom line is that the judge must determine which custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. The childs preference, age, and school schedule all factor into the decision. The ability for a parent to care and provide for the child, the distance between parents, the parents work schedule and home life, as well as the mental and physical health of each parent also factor into the judges decision of custody.
When youre fighting for your child, it is best not to leave it up to chance. Call Boudreaux Law Firm and let us help you fight for your child. We find evidence of your ability to care for your child and help you gain custody by appealing to the judge on your behalf. Call 869-1334 today and get your child safe at home tomorrow.
When Can A Third
Under Georgia law, certain close relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings, can bring an action seeking to establish child custody with them rather than one or both of the child’s parents. See Ga. Code § 19-7-1 . There’s a rebuttable presumption that it’s in a child’s best interests to award custody of a child to that child’s parents.
However, that presumption can be overcome if a parent gives up his or her parental rights or the court deems the parent unfit. A third-party can obtain custody over an unfit parent if the judge finds that awarding custody to the third party would promote the child’s well-being and happiness.
Showing that a parent is unfit is a very serious undertaking. In Georgia, a parent’s right to custody of a child is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the United States Constitution. Because parents’ custodial rights of their children are constitutionally protected, a court requires substantial proof of a parent’s unfitness to be supported by “clear and convincing” evidence before terminating parental rights in Georgia.
Unless there’s been abandonment or cruelty, a court will not ordinarily find a parent to be unfit as long as that parent is behaving responsibly in trying to care for a child and is currently able to provide the child with adequate food, shelter, and protection.
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Georgia Child Custody Laws
When parents separate or divorce in Georgia, a judge will decide how couples will share custody and visitation of their children. When making custody decisions, a judge will examine the child’s best interests.
This article provides an overview of child custody in Georgia. If you have specific questions after reading this article, contact a local family law attorney for advice.
Still Have Questions Talk To An Experienced Divorce Lawyer In Cherokee County
If youre currently navigating divorce, dont wait to talk to a lawyer. The terms you set for your divorce could shape your life and your childs life for many years to come
At Speights Law, we have an outstanding record of success in helping our clients avoid pitfalls and achieve the best possible outcome. We can do the same for you in mediation or in court.
Call us at for a confidential consultation today.
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How Does An Unmarried Father Establish Paternity
To establish paternity of a child, the unmarried father must first understand the difference between fatherhood as a legal concept and a biological one.
To determine a childs biological father, a paternity test is required. Since there is no legal requirement of biological paternity in order to sign a birth certificate, unmarried fathers should know that signing a birth certificate is not sufficient to determine biological paternity. However, it will be considered an acknowledgment of paternity.
Furthermore, signing the certificate does not establish an unmarried father as the legal father of a child, either. Legal paternity is established through the process of legitimation, as mentioned above. In some situations, especially when paternity is in question, this process requires a paternity test first to affirm the biological aspect, then establishes the father as having a legal right to the child.
Keep in mind that if the father has waited a long time to reach out to establish custody and has shown no interest in a relationship with the child previously, it may be difficult to get custody rights to the child, even if he is the biological father. Becoming the legal father of the child, or being recognized as such, is a matter that can only be handled through meeting the criteria of the court.
Can A Judge Order Supervised Visitation Or No Visitation
Yes, a judge has discretion to order supervised visitation. It is not very common, but in cases where it is shown that it is likely that one parent is a risk for harm to the minor child, a judge can order supervised visitation. This may mean supervision by a family member, a supervision agency, or law enforcement.
As to no visitation, it is highly unlikely that a judge would order no visitation unless parental rights have been terminated.
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In Custody Law It Is Important To Note:
This expansion does not circumvent a biological parents right to care for their child under custody law. Accordingly, the equitable caregiver must prove, unequivocally, that the child subject to the action will suffer physical or long-term emotional harm if custody is not granted and they must show that it is in the childs best interest to grant custody to the equitable caregiver. When determining whether the child will suffer harm, the Court must consider the following in Atlanta:
- Who are the past and present caretakers of the child
- With whom has the child formed psychological bonds and the strength of those bonds
- Whether competing parties evidenced an interest in, and contact with, the child over time and,
- Whether the child has unique medical or psychological needs that one party is better able to meet. See, C.G.A. §19-7-3.1 .
Legal Counsel For Unmarried Parents
If you have questions regarding child custody issues for unmarried parents in Georgia, contact Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today. We can help you navigate the legal issues you may be facing and provide advice on dealing with custody and child support disputes. We are here to help you come to the best possible arrangement for the overall benefit of your children.
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If Your Custody Case Is Taken To Court You Wont Receive Preference Just Because Youre The Mother
Its 2019 you wont win legal custody simply because youre the mother. If the father of your child has a legitimation order and chooses to file for custody, then both of you will have equal opportunity at the beginning of the custody case.
If this is reflective of the family law situation youre currently working through, whether you were a married or unmarried mother, then reach out to The Fairell Firm today. Our custody attorneys can offer family law advice and will work tirelessly on your custody case.Contact us todayto get started with family law in Atlanta.
Is There A Preference Of Full Custody For Mothers
Most states used to award custody to mothers more often than to fathers. Now, almost every state has laws allowing both parents to get custody. As many fathers know, however, some judges still believe the mother should be the custodial parent. Some states are better than others in allowing either you or your spouse to have an equal chance of getting full custody.
If you’re seeking sole custody, you should hire an experienced family lawyer. Custody is too important to handle by yourself.
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Modifying Custody In Georgia
Once a judge has issued a custody order, that order stays in place until a child reaches 18 or the order is modified. A parent who violates a custody order can face sanctions.
Sometimes life’s changing circumstances make it increasingly difficult to abide by the terms of a custody order. Over time, many families experience major life changes that require a custody modification.
Either parent can file a petition to modify custody. However, before a judge will grant a change to your custody order, the petitioning parent must prove that there’s been a material change in circumstances impacting the child’s well-being or a significant amount of time has passed since the last custody order was issued.
A court will grant the modification if it determines that a custody adjustment is in a child’s best interests. For more information about custody modifications, read our article “Modification of Child Custody and Visitation in Georgia”.
How Confusion Results
As stated above, confusion usually results when people mistakenly believe child custody only refers to physical custody. Or, when general terms such as full custody or joint custody are used when discussing child custody. That adds to confusion in two ways. First, neither term fully describes the levels of each type of custody. Second, different people have different ideas of what is full custody and what is joint custody.
Examples of how confusion results:
To some people, full custody means that both parents share joint legal custody, with one parent acting as the primary physical custodial parent, and the other parent having standard visitation rights every other weekend.
To other people, full custody may mean that one parent is the sole physical and legal custodial parent, or in other words, one parent no longer has any legal or physical custody of the child which is sometimes called stripping the rights of a parent. It is a difficult task to strip the rights of a parent as Georgia law favors both parents to have contact with their children and will not strip the rights of a parent lightly.
Joint custody can mean joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both joint legal and joint physical custody.
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Joint Vs Sole Custody
Within each of the categories of custody, parents can either have joint or sole custody.
Joint legal custody means that both parents get to take part in decision-making regarding the child. Sole legal custody means that only one parent gets to make those decisions.
Joint physical custody means that parents will share their time with the child. Sole physical custody means that one parent is going to have most or all of the physical time with the child. Sometimes you might hear the terms primary physical custody and secondary physical custody. Those terms dont have any real legal significance. Whats important is to have a detailed parenting plan that lays out who will be parenting the child when and who will be making decisions.