How is Parenting Time Determined in Georgia?

When parents go through a divorce, they must establish arrangements for their children’s future as well as their own. This involves determining child custody and parenting time. Typically, parenting time is linked to physical custody. Depending on the family in question’s custody arrangement, it must be determined how much time each parent will spend with their child. This is done by creating a parenting plan that details how the two will share the responsibilities of parenting after their divorce. 

Creating a Parenting Plan

In some cases, parents can determine a parenting schedule themselves through coordinated meetings with them and their attorneys. If they are unable to reach an agreement on their own, a parent can submit their own parenting plan to a judge who will make the final determination. When submitting a parenting plan to the court, it must include the following information:

  • The amount of time the child spends at each parent’s residence
  • Any plans for weeknight or weekend visitations
  • Provisions for school function attendance
  • Any plans for schools breaks, birthdays, holidays, and special occasions
  • Provisions if the parents live long distance from one another

Factors to Consider

When creating a parenting plan in the state of Georgia, there are certain factors that should be kept in mind. This can include:

  • Neither the mother or father has an advantage in custody decisions, as the court’s rulings are dependent on what is in the best interest of the child
  • The happiness and welfare of a child will always be put first in family law cases
  • Courts in Georgia usually believe that it is in the child’s best interest to have both of their parents involved in their life unless the child’s safety is in question
  • When a child is 11 years old in Georgia, their preference of which parent they wish to live can be taken into consideration by the court
  • When a child is 14 years old in Georgia, they can choose which parent they want to live with

Violation of Visitation Orders

If the parenting plan is approved by the court, it is considered a court order and therefore must be followed. If it is not, the parent is considered in violation. Actions that can be considered a violation of a custody or visitation order can include:

  • Blocking visitation
  • Blocking communication
  • Children refusing to visit
  • Denying visitation for non-payment of child support
  • If a parent consistently misses the visitation

In the event that the order is violated, different remedies may be enforced by the court:

  • Ordering “make-up” visitation
  • Ordering the interfering parent to take parenting classes
  • Ordering the interfering parent to pay costs related to the interference
  • Changing the child’s transportation arrangements
  • Holding the interfering parent in contempt of court, resulting in a fine or sending the parent to jail

Contact our Firm

Alfred Law Firm, LLC is proud to serve clients in Georgia when they face legal matters related to family law and criminal defense. When legal issues arise, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced attorney that can help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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