Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody In Georgia
Your children are important to you. When going through a divorce or other family-related legal matter, you want to work with an attorney who understands your family and the best interests of your children.
At The Siemon Law Firm, we are committed to providing you with the advice you need to make informed decisions about your family and your future. Our Atlanta custody attorneys will work one-on-one with you to answer your questions, understand your concerns and needs, and develop a solution tailored to you.
If you have questions about child custody in Georgia, The Siemon Law Firm can help. Call 770-888-5120 now to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We are conveniently located with offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Cumming and Marietta.
Here are a few common questions about child custody in Georgia:
What is “parenting time”?
In Georgia, child custody and visitation are referred to as parenting time. A number of parenting-time arrangements are possible, from sole custody for one parent to joint custody. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a custody and visitation arrangement, Georgia courts will order mediation. Our custody lawyers will guide you through the mediation process and help you negotiate a workable arrangement. In some cases, the two parents are too far apart and cannot reach a negotiated solution. If needed, our lawyers will assert your rights in court.
What’s the difference between legal and physical custody?
Legal custody is the right to make decisions on issues related to your child’s education, medical care and religious upbringing, for instance. Physical custody involves where your child will actually live.
Can I get full physical custody of my children?
While some parents go into a divorce stating that they want sole custody of children, Georgia courts encourage joint child custody unless there are strong reasons not to, such as evidence of past abuse by a parent. Many different types of joint child custody arrangements are possible, from traditional parenting plans where one parent has primary custody and the other parent has visitation every other weekend, one night during the week, every other holiday and an extended period of time during school breaks, to 50-50 joint custody. Parents may also have split custody, where one child lives with one parent and the other child lives with the other.
How do the courts determine custody and visitation?
Courts in Georgia will determine child custody and visitation based on what they perceive to be the best interests of your children. The judge will carefully examine factors such as who has been the primary caretaker, the lifestyles of the parties, the wishes of the children if they are older, and any evidence of past child or spousal abuse. Our lawyers are experienced in presenting the right evidence and arguments to tell your side of the story.
Do I have to attend mediation sessions?
Yes, if you are getting a divorce, Fulton County has mandatory mediation for all cases involving child custody. Our lawyers are experienced at representing clients in mediation, and we will stand by your side at every stage to make sure your rights and interests are protected.
Can I change the custody arrangement if I move out of state?
Situations change over time, and a custody arrangement that worked at the time of your divorce may not work five years down the road. If you have had a substantial change in circumstances, such as a job-related relocation to another city or state, our custody lawyers can help you through the process of pursuing a modification to custody orders.
Contact Our Custody Lawyers Today
In addition to handling child custody issues in divorce, our attorneys also help clients who are looking to obtain custody by establishing paternity. We also work with clients to modify and enforce orders.