Child Custody | Georgia Uncontested Divorce

Child Custody | Georgia Uncontested Divorce - AttorneysGeorgia Uncontested Divorce Attorneys and Lawyers

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In Georgia divorce and family law cases, there are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. In almost all cases both of the custody types are shared between the parents.  However, some child custody cases do involve grandparents, uncles, aunts and non-family members depending on the circumstances. In this discussion, we will mostly discuss issues that affect parents in child custody cases.

Legal Child Custody

Typically, the parents are awarded joint legal custody, which means that the parents must share in all of the decision making in regards to the children and that the parents have equal rights to the child’s medical and educational records. In the case of the parents not being to make a joint decision, one parent will be awarded final decision making authority which allows that patent to ultimately break the stalemate on the issue. Typically, final decision-making goes to the parent who has primary physical custody.

Physical Child Custody

In most cases, physical custody is also shared. However, usually there is one parent designated as the primary physical custodian and the other parent receives secondary physical custody. The primary physical custodian is also the parent that will usually receive child support if child support is to be paid, so this can be a very important distinction in a custody matter.

The courts determine physical custody based on several factors, including, most importantly, who has been the child’s primary care giver while the parents were together. As mentioned, in most cases the parents are awarded joint custody of the children, legal joint custody. Joint physical custody is typically an arrangement where the parents try to share equal parenting time. To make joint physical custody work, the parents have to be willing to work together and should be accepting of the idea that they will be interacting with their ex-spouse for some time.

If joint custody is not given, then that means one of the parents has sole custody. Sole custody is very unusual and it means that all of the custodial rights are assigned to one parent and the other parent has no rights. Having sole custody does not mean that the other parent is free from their obligations, such as child support. If the child is fourteen (14) years old, then they will be able to choose the parent that they want to live with. In some cases, the parent that is not selected may be able to present evidence as to why the child’s choice is not in their best interest. However it is unlikely that the court will go against the child’s choice in most cases.

Child Support Does Not Affect Child Custody and Visitation Rights

It is also important to understand that in Georgia, child support does not affect child custody and visitation rights, meaning that if a parent did not pay their child support they are still able to visit their child on the court ordered visiting times. Using visitation rights as leverage for child support is not something that the court will approve and can be an independent basis for contempt, separate from the non-payment of child support by the other party.

Modification of Child Custody in Georgia

It is possible for child custody to be changed through the legal process of obtaining a modification. And frequently a modification of child custody will also include a modification of child support. The person that wants to modify child custody has to prove that the custodial person is no longer able to care for the children or that it is no longer in the child’s best interest for the other party to be the primary physical custodian.

There is no time frame in which a parent must wait to file a custody modification; however they do need to show that there is enough of a change in the situation that a modification of custody is warranted. Although custody modifications can be uncontested or settled before a trial, ultimately the court will have to approve any child custody modification and issue the order finally deciding the matter.

Give us a call at 470-947-2471 to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our experienced Georgia uncontested divorce attorneys.

Georgia Areas We Serve

Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia uncontested divorce attorneys handles cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Sharon Springs, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Woodstock, Canton, Holly Springs, Douglasville, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Midtown, Inman Park, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, East Cobb and Smyrna.

Our Georgia uncontested divorce lawyers frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.

Our main office is located in Alpharetta Georgia at: 11539 Park Woods Circle, Suite 304, Alpharetta, GA 30005.  We also have offices conveniently located at:

Alpharetta Georgia
Park Woods Commons
11539 Park Woods Circle
Suite 304
Alpharetta, GA 30005
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Atlanta Georgia
Colony Square
1201 Peachtree Street, 400
Colony Square, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Dunwoody, Sandy Springs
GA 400, Atlanta Georgia
1200 Abernathy Rd
Building 600
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Cumming Georgia
The Avenue Forsyth
410 Peachtree Parkway
Building 400, Suite 4245
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Johns Creek, Duluth GA
11555 Medlock Bridge Road
Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Duluth Georgia
2180 Satellite Boulevard
Suite 400
Duluth, GA 30097
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

Kennesaw Georgia
TownPark Center
125 TownPark Drive
Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

1755 North Brown Road
Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: 470-947-2471 | Map

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