A divorce is challenging enough to manage on your own. Splitting assets, property and money are one thing, yet dividing a family and determining child support is another scenario that may hold more emotion and complexities. As children get involved, divorce proceedings become increasingly intricate. You may be forced with decisions that you never thought you would have to make concerning your children, child custody, adoption, child support and visitation.
However, with the right attorney behind your case, you can get the support and guidance you need to make this transition easier for you and your family. The first step to resolving this pressing family issue, is to begin understanding child custody factors the courts consider, as well as basic definitions defined by Georgia State Law on child custody.
Child custody is defined as the legal and practical rights over children after a divorce, which includes physical (where the children reside) and legal custody (who makes important decisions regarding education, safety and health).
Be aware of what the courts are looking for before entering the courtroom. Georgia law is focused on awarding custody in the best interests of the child. Although every custody case is unique, there are 4 distinct types of child custody:
1. SOLE CUSTODY
Child(ren) live with sole parent who is the primary authority and decision maker
2. PHYSICAL CUSTODY
Child(ren) live with one parent who has full decision-making authority but other parent has parenting time as well
3. LEGAL CUSTODY
The child(ren) primary reside with one parent, but decision making regarding the children is shared.
4. JOINT CUSTODY
Equal time is shared between both parents and decision making regarding the child(ren) is mutual
There are various factors to consider when entering your case into child support court. For most families, the following is a list of child custody factors that courts consider when in litigation:
- Child’s Wishes (if child is at least 11)
- Parent Mental and Physical Health
- Living Proximity Between Parent and Child
- Parent Work Schedule and Flexibility to Care for Child
- Relationship Between Parent and Child
- Parent Willingness to Encourage a Relationship Between Child and Other Parent
- Relationship and Affection/Bond Between Child and Siblings
- Parent Involvement in Child’s Educational, Social and Extracurricular Activities
- Parent Ability to Financially Provide for Child
- Evidence of Domestic Violence or Abuse
- Safety of Home Environment
- Evidence of Criminal Activity
Keep your children out of your custody battles with your spouse. Partner with a legal team with experience and passion for providing legal remedies to many of these sensitive family situations.