In Georgia, there is no presumption that custody should go to the mother or father. Both parents are equal in the eyes of the law. If the biological mother is married, the law presumes that her husband is the father of the child. However, if the father is not the mother’s husband, he should take immediate steps to establish paternity in order to ensure that his legal rights to the unborn child are protected.
When it comes to providing for the care and support of children, you want to be sure they are in capable hands. When child custody disputes or emergencies arise, you may need to take quick action to ensure they are protected. Temporary and emergency child custody hearings provide you a way to legally petition the court to protect the child’s or children’s best interests. These hearings can produce a court order which defines the custody rights of the parties during the pendency of a legal action involving custody.
When some couples go through a divorce, they are in agreement from the start on how they want their marriage to end and, therefore, are able to resolve all the issues between them prior to filing any documents with the court. Those couples are in the minority. For the majority of couples, one party files for divorce and has the other party served with the “Complaint for Divorce,” papers which outline the filing partner’s desire to end the marriage. The parties then begin the process of dissolving their marriage through the court system. In those cases, the party that is served with the Complaint for divorce should file an “Answer and Counterclaim” as a response to their spouse’s Complaint.
Child support payments are usually awarded to the custodial parent of a minor child to help with expenses associated with raising that child. Georgia law uses a child support calculation formula that takes the income and debt of both parents into account. The court-ordered child support amount is intended to equal the minimum amount the noncustodial parent would pay to support the child if they still resided in the child’s household. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for noncustodial parents to fall behind in their child support obligations. When this happens, they may find their life impacted by back child support laws and the unavailability of a child support arrears forgiveness program.