For divorcing couples who are raising children together, the issue of child custody can be the most important and often most contentious to resolve in the divorce. You’ve been used to interacting with your kids every day. How can you now possibly work out a plan where you only see them half the time, or in some cases far less? How can you continue to co-parent and make joint decisions regarding your child’s upbringing when you and your spouse can no longer communicate and get along as a couple?
It is possible. The Gleklen Law Firm can help.
Our family law attorneys have decades of experience helping Atlanta families through the difficult process of establishing child custody and parenting plans in a Georgia divorce. Our team includes Parent Coordinators specially trained to help parents resolve difficult child custody disputes. We’ve represented the interests of children as Guardian ad Litem in the courts, and we’ve helped parents in mediation, collaborative practice, arbitration, and courtroom litigation. No matter where you are in relation to your current or former spouse or co-parent, our experienced child custody divorce lawyers can advise you, guide you, and represent you to a satisfactory result that meets your needs and those of your children.
Learn more below about child custody in a Georgia divorce, and call The Gleklen Law Firm for answers to your questions and immediate help.
Georgia Courts Decide Physical Custody and Legal Custody in the Child’s Best Interests
When deciding child custody in a divorce or other family law proceeding, the judge will decide both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines how much time the child spends with each parent, while legal custody determines which parent is responsible for making decisions regarding the children’s education, medical care, religious upbringing and other matters, or how the parents will share in making those decisions jointly.
The judge can order child custody to be shared jointly or grant custody solely to one parent. Custody can also be shared jointly, but not equally. For instance, one parent might have the child for the majority of the time, or one parent might have the final say on child-rearing matters when the parents disagree. The judge’s job is to decide what arrangement is in the child’s best interests.
If the parents can draw up their own parenting plan, they can submit it to the court for approval. If they can’t agree, the judge will have to hold a trial and hear evidence regarding how and where the child will best be taken care of. The evidence and arguments presented by the parties through their attorneys will circle around factors such as the following:
- The quality of the home environment at each parent’s residence
- Whether work and other factors will allow a parent adequate time to devote to parenting
- Who gets the marital home in the divorce and whether it’s preferable for the children to remain in that home
- How strongly connected the child is to each parent and siblings
- How familiar each parent is with the children’s needs
- The extent of the parenting role each parent has played in the child’s life up until now
The Gleklen Law Firm Can Help You Get Your Parenting Plan Right
While it’s ultimately up to the judge to decide what a parenting plan will look like, Georgia law specifies many elements that should be included in a plan by default. These plans are very specific and detailed, covering where the child will be every day of the year, how holidays, birthdays and school breaks will be spent with each parent, how and where custody exchanges will take place, who will cover transportation costs, how parents can maintain contact and communication with the children between visits, and much more.
A parenting plan worked out by the parents themselves is preferable but not always possible. The child custody attorneys at The Gleklen Law Firm can guide you, advise you and represent you in any setting, whether you are working with your co-parent to come up with a plan or advocating for a plan determined by the court. We know the law and have the special training and experience needed to represent you well in your custody dispute.
Let Our Firm Help You With Your Child Custody Issues
Wherever possible, Georgia courts want a result that enables each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with their children. Whether your divorce is amicable or high-conflict, The Gleklen Law Firm can help you get there. Give us a call at 678-236-0444 to discuss your needs and concerns regarding child custody, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.