In an initial custody dispute between the parents over the custody of a minor child, the sole question to be determined is what is in the best interests of the child. This question can only be answered by a judge, as Georgia law prohibits juries from determining custody matters. Essentially, there are no boundaries as to what a judge may look at in determining a child’s best interests, as the law provides that the judge may consider “any relevant factor.”
Unfortunately, each judge may have a different opinion as to what he or she finds relevant in any given case so it’s important to understand all of the basics and make sure all procedures are handled by an experienced attorney.
Disputes over child custody and visitation are among the most hotly contested in Georgia family law cases. While the court has established legal guidelines to follow, there are always extenuating factors which must be considered. At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, our team members have acted as strong legal advocates on behalf of parents in these situations for 30 years. We offer tried and true strategies designed to protect the rights and well-being of both you and your child.
Disputes over Child Custody
It is a common misconception that in family law cases, the mother is automatically granted full custody of the child, while the father gets occasional weeknight, every other weekend visitation. This may have been true in previous generations, but Georgia child custody laws now consider it in the child’s best interests for both parents to take a more active role. Time-sharing arrangements are encouraged, and parenting plans for child custody and visitation must be submitted, which include:
- Arrangements for shared custody during the week, as well as on weekends;
- Alternating arrangements for holidays, school breaks, and special occasions;
- Provisions for attendance at school, sports, and recreational events;
- Shared responsibility for making decisions regarding the child’s education, health, development, and religious upbringing.
In child custody cases, you need someone with the knowledge and skill to make compelling arguments in your favor. Issues relating to your child are too important to trust to anyone other than our experienced Atlanta child custody lawyers. Reach out and contact Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today and request a consultation to see how we can help you.