Professional Representation in Child Custody Negotiations
Determining child custody can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce or separation. When children are involved, feelings can be difficult to process and communication with the other parent is often strained, especially when attorneys are involved. Each parent is expected to be respectful of the other and show a united front to the children, but that is not always what happens. Depending on your situation, child custody negotiations can be a straightforward and objective process or an emotional and drawn-out battle. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney. Our firm will assess your case, guide you through your legal options and represent you in your child custody case. Contact Alfred Law Firm for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.
Child custody laws in Georgia
In the best situations, the parties can agree to custody and a suitable parenting plan prior to trial. Other times, when a couple disagrees and cannot come to terms over the matter, a judge may need to decide a custody arrangement. Contrary to popular belief, no parent has greater right to win custody of a child. Regardless of sex or who cared for the child during the tender years, the “playing field” is even and there is no presumed right to the child. Georgia courts base their decision on what is in the best interest of the children, a legal standard set out to ensure that all considerations regarding the child would be the top priority.
Factors that impact a child custody case
Under Georgia Law, the Court considers several factors in determining what is in the “best interest of the child” including:
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- The relationship between the child and any siblings, step siblings and other children in residence
- The ability of each parent to provide the love and guidance the child will need
- Each party’s familiarity and knowledge of the child’s life and needs
- The ability of the parent to provide the means to sustain the child’s standard of living
- The home environment of each parent
- The ability for each parent to maintain a stable life for the child
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- Each parent’s involvement in the child’s life up until the point of divorce
- Each parent’s employment schedule
- Any impact to the child’s medical and academic history
- Each parent’s past performance of parenting responsibilities
- The practicality of the parents working together in the best interest of the child
- Any history of violence or substance abuse
- Any recommendations by the custody evaluator or guardian ad litem
What kind of custody arrangements are there?
Generally speaking, most custody cases revolve around a decision of legal and physical custody. Physical custody is where the child spends more time each week. The parent who wins physical custody is called the custodial parent. This can be quite difficult for the noncustodial parent who may see the child in shorter spans. Legal custody is the right of the parent to make the important decisions in a child’s life, including academic, medical, and even religious decisions. Losing both physical and legal custody is rare. It often applies to people who cannot care for the child in any capacity or pose a danger to the child. When it happens, a parent’s relationship can be greatly diminished. That said, these parents may still retain visitation rights in some way.
Contact The Alfred Law Firm
Whether you are married to the other parent, or your child was born out-of-wedlock, the Alfred Law Firm can help you. Our custody attorney can also represent you in seeking or changing custody of your child. We understand the cost involved in a custody action and strive to help you resolve your case as effectively as possible, with your goals first and foremost. We will keep you informed of all options available and assist you in making the best decisions for your family at all times. Contact The Alfred Law Firm for a consultation.