Legal Custody in Georgia

In ensuring that your child’s best interests are served in Georgia child custody cases, legal custody will be determined through negotiations with the parents and their attorneys, and by the judge who reviews evidence presented in the case. The end result is a child custody order, enforceable by the court. Depending on the situation, this order may end up designating only one parent as legal custodian of the child, while granting the other supervised or unsupervised visitation.

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What Is Legal Custody?

Under Section 19-9-22 of the Georgia Code, legal custody refers to the person who is the primary caregiver of the children and has the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf regarding matters such as their education, development, healthcare, and religious upbringing. While the other parent may be allowed visitation, they do not have legal custody and must conform to the requirements set forth in the custody order. Reasons for awarding sole custody to one parent and not the other include:

  • The custodial parent may have been more actively involved in the children’s lives;
  • One parent may be better equipped to provide for the children’s needs;
  • The other parent may engage in activities that put the children in jeopardy, such as drug abuse and addiction.

Reach Out to Our Atlanta Child Custody Attorneys

Serious disputes can arise over issues related to the legal custody of children. In these situations, you need a trusted Atlanta child custody attorney on your side, protecting your rights. Reach out and contact Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor to request a consultation in our Marietta, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Fayetteville, or Johns Creek office to discuss your case and how we can assist you.