Determining a child’s best interest

If you are in the midst of a divorce in Georgia and you have minor children, you will want to understand how the state approaches child custody decisions. Of all of the aspects of your divorce, those directly involving your children may well cause you the most angst. Having a good idea of what is involved here will be important as you move through the process.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, indicates that Georgia works to identify what is in the best interests of a child when detemining with whom the child will live after a parental divorce. But, just what is in the best interests of a child? There really is no one-size-fits-all definition of this as every situation is unique. Many factors are reviewed by judges to assess things from a physical, emotional, moral and mental aspect.

Courts will look at a child’s bond with both parents as well as any sisters, brothers and extended family members. Ties to a specific community will also be evaluated, especially if a custody decision would physical remove a child from that community. The health needs of the child as well as the mental and physical health of the parents will be reviewed. Each parent’s ability to provide for a child on a daily basis will become part of a final custody decision.

If you would like to learn more about child custody determinations during a divorce, please feel free to visit the parent-child relationship page of our Georgia family law website.

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