Every parent wants what is best for their children. Sometimes, however, parents disagree on what that is. At Speights Law, our lawyers strive to help parents in Canton and the surrounding areas of Georgia work out child custody arrangements that support the best interests of the children involved.
What Does Georgia Law Say?
As most parents begin any child custody process, a common question is who will get custody. In Georgia, child custody laws are based on the best interests of the child. In most cases, that means the court will support a custody plan that allows the child to spend time with both parents. Some of the factors the courts consider when determining or approving a custody plan include, but are not limited to:
- The ages of the children
- The health of both parents
- Each parent’s financial situation
- The parenting arrangement before the divorce or separation
- The wishes of the children if they are old enough to express them
- How parenting duties were split before the divorce
Joint Vs. Sole And Physical Vs. Legal
Child custody can be broken up in several different parts. Before you begin the process, it can be helpful to understand what the different terms mean:
- Physical custody: Physical custody determines which parent the children live with.
- Legal custody: Legal custody refers to which parent can make important life decisions on behalf of the children, such as those involving health care or schooling. Usually parents share legal custody and one parent gets to make a final decision if the parents cannot agree.
Physical and legal custody can be determined in multiple different ways:
- Joint physical custody: Joint physical custody is when both parents share parenting time with the child.
- Primary physical custody: Primary physical custody means that one parent is awarded day to day care of the child. When one parent has primary physical custody, it is common for the other parent to have visitation rights, allowing them to see the child regularly.
Modifying Custody Orders
Under Georgia law, there are specific reasons why a parent can request a modification of a child custody order. In general, something must have changed that affects the welfare of your child.
When something happens to prompt a modification — such as the other parent engaging in bad conduct or a possible move to another area — it is important to act quickly. Timing matters in modification cases, and we can help ensure your matter is addressed promptly and properly.
We Can Protect Your Best Interests And Those Of Your Children
To arrange a time to discuss your custody matter with one of our child custody attorneys, call our office at 770-479-1500 or contact us via email. Evening and weekend consultations available upon request.
Amanda Speights is a co-founder and lead family law attorney at Speights Law, PC in Cherokee County. She is an experienced family law lawyer who handles an assortment of domestic cases, including divorce, child custody, child support, appeals and other types of litigation in the state of Georgia.