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Child Custody Basics

What to know about custody in Georgia?

child custody

When parents get divorced, the divorce decree will specify child custody agreements which contains the details of which parent the child(ren) will live with and the circumstances under which the other parent will visit with the child(ren).

Sometimes, parents work out these arrangements between themselves and others with the assistance of their attorneys, a mediator, or possibly a Guardian Ad Litem. When parents are unable to reach a decision, the Court will make a decision based on the child(ren)’s best interests.

The legal terms used for child custody can be confusing. While some people have a basic idea of what this term means, not everyone knows the difference between the various types of custody.

Physical Custody.

Physical custody is custody as it relates to the child(ren)’s actual schedule. The Court can order all types of physical custody but often the Court will assign a primary physical custodian and secondary physical custody of the minor children. This determination ultimately comes down to what is in the child(ren)’s best interest.

Legal Custody.

Legal Custody determines which parent has been given the legal authority to make decisions about the children’s education, extra-curricular activities, non-emergency health care decisions and religious upbringing. Most of the time parents will get joint legal custody and will have to cooperate and make decisions together about their child upbringing. However, the Court will determine which parent shall have final decision-making authority in the event of disagreement in any of the areas mentioned above.

Sole Custody.

If one parent is unfit to parent, the child(ren). A judge can award sole legal and/or physical custody of a child(ren). Sole Custody is typically only awarded if the Court determines that the parent that is not being awarded any custody is detrimental to the child(ren)’s best interests.

Child custody cases are complicated and put tremendous emotional stress on parents and children. Getting professional help from an expert will allow you to make the decisions that are in the best interest of your family and most importantly your children. If you have questions about the various types of child custody, and which may be best for your family schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, you can call us to talk about your specific needs (770)-422-4142 or email us at info@ffbfamilylaw.com.

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