When it comes to child custody, every state has its own set of laws. Georgia is no different. If you are a parent going through a divorce or other family law matter involving a child, it is crucial to understand the child custody laws in Georgia. This will ensure that you can make the best decisions for your child and yourself.
What Are Georgia Child Custody Laws
Georgia law gives both parents equal rights to custody of their child. However, the court will ultimately decide based on what is in the child’s best interest.
When it comes to Georgia child custody laws, there are two types of custody that can be awarded: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to make major decisions about their child. If there is joint custody, both parents have the right to decide on their child’s education, healthcare, and other essential matters.
Physical custody, however, refers to where the child will live. A parent can be awarded sole legal and physical custody, or they can share custody with the other parent.
There are a number of factors that the court will consider when making this determination, including:
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- The child’s preference (if the child is old enough to express a preference)
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable home environment
- The ability of each parent to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs
- The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community
- Any history of domestic violence or child abuse
If the child is 14 years or older, they may have a say in which parent they would like to live with. However, the court may overrule a child’s choice of which parent to live with if they believe that it is not in the child’s best interest.
If the parents cannot reach an agreement on child custody, the court will decide based on the child’s best interest. In making this determination, the court will consider all the above factors. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the child’s best interests. The GAL will investigate the family situation and make a recommendation to the court.
What Is a Parenting Plan
In Georgia, a parenting plan is a court-ordered document that outlines the custody arrangement for minor children. The parenting plan must be approved by a judge and must be in the best interest of the child.
The parenting plan details the physical custody arrangement, including where the child will live and with which parent the child will spend time. It will also detail the legal custody arrangement, including which parent will have the authority to make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing.
How Much Child Support Will Be Given to a Child
The Georgia Child Support Commission has created an online child support calculator to help determine how much child support your children may be eligible for.
A child must be sustained by child support in Georgia until reaching 18, or when the child marries, becomes emancipated or dies. Child support generally terminates when the child reaches the age of majority but may continue if the child is still attending secondary school until the child turns 20. In addition, child support may be ordered to continue past the age of majority if the child has a physical or mental disability that prevents him or her from being able to support him or herself.
If you’re a parent going through a divorce, you know that child custody can be one of the most challenging issues to resolve. You want what’s best for your children, and you also want to do your best to make sure you have a good relationship with their other parent. That’s why it’s important to find a child custody attorney to help you navigate the process and protect your interests.
Hanks, Ballard & Barth has the best child custody attorney in Madison, GA, that can help you through every step of the process, from negotiation to trial. We have the experience and knowledge to help you through this difficult time. Let us help you understand your options and fight for the best possible outcome for your family. Schedule an appointment with us today!