With J. G. Boyd Law, LLC as your legal representative during your custody battle in Georgia, you are choosing a dedicated family law attorney with years of experience. We do more than just litigate; we negotiate where possible with the aim of helping our clients reach their desired goals.
This refers simply to where the child will live and outlines what rights each parent has as far as visitation. In the state of Georgia, regardless of gender, neither parent automatically has physical custody rights. These rights are ultimately decided by the judge over your unique case.
Custodial rights outline where each parent is allowed to visit the child (school/extracurriculars) and how much of a say that parent has in the up bring of the child including, but not limited to, education, medical care and treatment, extracurricular activities, and religious upbringing.
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Since custody decisions are not based on gender and are solely decided by the best interest of the child, it would be best if both parties worked together in the best interest of the child.
In Georgia, child custody laws mandate that a judge must consider a number of factors that may impact the child’s best interests such as: each parent’s home environment and their capacity to care for and nurture the child, each parent’s physical and mental health, and each parent’s emotional attachment to the child. The statute lists several other factors, and sometimes there are facts that do not fall under the statutory factors that are still taken into consideration.
If paternity is established, the court may require the father to provide child support, but it does not necessarily guarantee visitation rights, parenting time, or custody. The Court also does not “force” either parent to exercise their parenting time.
Biological fathers possess legal rights to the child they helped conceive, which may not appear equitable to a single mother who received no assistance from the father, however, it is enforced by the law. Where an adoption has taken place, the biological father has terminated his parental rights, so he no longer possesses them.
GA Code § 19-9-3 specifies that children who have attained 14 years of age or above can elect the parent they prefer to reside with primarily. After making a choice, the child must sign an Affidavit of Election and present it to the court. A child can sign an Affidavit of Election as early as the age of 11 years of age, and the same will be taken into consideration.
In Georgia, a child aged 11 or above may express a preference about which parent they wish to live with, as per custody laws. However, the Court typically prefers to keep the children out of the litigation when feasible.
It is uncommon for children to testify in court during divorce or custody proceedings in Georgia. Instead, the standard practice involves the child, usually aged 11 or older, meeting the judge privately in their chambers.