How will Georgia courts determine child custody in a divorce?

One aspect of a divorce that parents in Georgia may find particularly difficult is that of child custody. After all, knowing that you will likely not spend every day with your child is a big change that is fraught with emotions both for you and your child. For this reason, it is important that child custody arrangements are based not on the parent’s best interests but on the child’s best interests.

Do Georgia child custody laws favor mothers over fathers?

Fathers going through a divorce may be concerned that their child’s mother will automatically be treated more favorably when it comes to child custody issues. This is not true. Under Georgia law there is no presumption in favor of either parent. Instead, child custody orders will be based on the best interests of the child.

Best interests of the child factors in Georgia

There are a variety of factors courts will consider when making child custody decisions that are in the best interests of the child. The bond between each parent and the child may be considered as may the child’s bond with siblings and other parties they live with. Each parent’s ability and propensity to provide the child with love, affection and guidance may be considered.

How familiar each parent is with the child’s needs may be considered as may each parent’s ability and willingness to meet the child’s day-to-day basic care needs. The extent to which each parent’s home is safe and nurturing for the child may be considered. The history of the child’s residence and community may be considered alongside any special needs the child may have. The importance of keeping the child’s life stable may also be considered.

Each parent’s past involvement in the child’s education, social engagements and hobbies may be considered. Whether a parent’s job will limit their ability to care for the child may also be considered. The parenting responsibilities each parent performed in the past and will perform in the future may be considered.

The court may consider each parent’s health. Each parent’s ability and willingness to allow the child to have a meaningful relationship with the other parent may be considered. Whether domestic abuse or substance is a factor may also be considered. Finally, the child’s wishes may take precedence if the child is age 14 or above.

Learn more about child custody in Georgia

Child custody decisions made in a divorce can affect both the child and the parents for years to come. Therefore, it is important that any decisions made are in the child’s best interests. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on child custody in Georgia may be of interest to those who want to learn more about their rights and options.

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