Paulding County Child Custody Lawyer
Resolving Custody Disputes in Georgia
If you are facing a child custody dispute in Georgia, it's important to have a knowledgeable and skilled child custody attorney on your side to help protect your rights and advocate for the best interests of your child. At Henrickson & Sereebutra, our experienced family law attorneys have been serving clients in Paulding County and throughout Georgia for years, providing compassionate and strategic representation in child custody cases. We understand the complexities of these disputes and work tirelessly to help our clients achieve favorable outcomes. Whether you seek to establish custody, modify an existing custody order, or resolve a dispute, we are here to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
Call Henrickson & Sereebutra today at (770) 212-3313 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our child custody attorney in Paulding County!
How is Child Custody Determined in Georgia?
Child custody determinations in Georgia can be a complex and emotionally charged process. When parents cannot agree on their own, the court will decide based on the child's best interests. The court will consider a wide range of factors, including:
- The child's age, physical and emotional needs,
- The relationship between the child and their parents
- The flexibility of each parent's employment schedule
- Each parent's prior involvement in the child's life
- The mental and physical health of both parents
- The safety of each parent's home environment
- Evidence of alcohol / substance abuse or violence
- The ability of each parent to care for the child financially
The court may also consider the child's preferences if they are mature enough to express them. Ultimately, the court will strive to make a decision that is in the child's best interests, taking into account all relevant factors and circumstances. At our law firm, we understand the importance of protecting the rights of parents and children in child custody disputes. We are committed to providing personalized attention and strategic representation to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of the legal process and ensure your rights and your child's best interests are protected.
What are the Types of Custody in Georgia?
There are two main types of custody in Georgia: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions on behalf of the child, such as education, healthcare, and religion. On the other hand, physical custody refers to where the child primarily resides and who has physical control and responsibility for the child's care and well-being.
Within these two main types of custody, several different arrangements can be made, including:
- Joint legal custody: Both parents share the right to make major decisions on behalf of the child, although one parent may have final decision-making authority in certain areas.
- Joint physical custody: The child resides with each parent for a significant amount of time, and the parents share physical custody and decision-making responsibilities.
- Sole legal custody: One parent has the exclusive right to make major decisions on behalf of the child.
- Sole physical custody: The child primarily resides with one parent, and the other parent may have visitation rights.
- Bird's nest custody: The child remains in the family home, and the parents take turns living with the child in the home and residing elsewhere during their respective parenting time.
Making a Parenting Plan
According to Georgia Code § 19-9-1, you and your spouse – together or separately – will be required to submit a parenting plan to the court. The plan must reflect your acknowledgment of the importance that both you and the other spouse will be able to continue a relationship with the children and must be flexible in accommodating changes in the children's needs, now and in the future.
It will also plan a schedule for where the children will spend holidays and vacations, a routine schedule of where the children will live, and how you and the other parent will facilitate transportation between households. The delegation of decision-making authority is of primary importance in education, healthcare, extra-curricular activities, and religion. Let our custody attorneys in Paulding County help you through the process.
What Makes a Parent Unfit?
In Georgia, a parent may be deemed "unfit" if they cannot provide for the child's basic physical, emotional, or developmental needs. Some specific factors that may be considered in determining parental fitness include:
- Substance abuse: If a parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse and cannot provide a safe and stable home environment for the child, they may be deemed unfit.
- Domestic violence: If a parent has a history of domestic violence or child abuse, they may be deemed unfit to have custody or visitation with the child.
- Neglect: If a parent has a pattern of failing to provide for the child's basic needs, such as food, shelter, medical care, and education, they may be deemed unfit.
- Mental illness: If a parent has a mental illness that affects their ability to provide a safe and stable home environment for the child, they may be deemed unfit.
- Criminal activity: If a parent has a history of criminal activity, especially if it involves violence or puts the child at risk, they may be deemed unfit.
Modifying a Custody Arrangement
If your current child custody agreement hurts your relationship with your child, you may be able to petition a court to modify the order. When making decisions on family law issues, judges will always try to keep the child's best interests in mind. Our child custody team in Paulding County can assist parents in demonstrating the positive role they play in the child's life. Get help today and begin taking steps to protect your children's future and establish a custody arrangement that is for and in the child's best interests.
Contact Our Paulding County Child Custody Attorney
While many divorcing couples agree to share custody, disputes over child custody are common. They are often one of the most contentious issues involved in a divorce. When this occurs, the judge has the power to rule under Georgia Code § 19-9-3 and will weigh factors such as each parent's bonds of love and affection with the children, each parent's ability to supply a safe home environment and provide for the children's needs, as well as past performance of parenting responsibilities.
Neither parent will automatically receive custody; the mother's and father's rights will be weighed equally. A Paulding County custody lawyer from Henrickson & Sereebutra can meet with you in a free consultation to discuss your custody concerns and explain legal strategies for protecting your rights. We have been practicing family law for more than a decade, so you can trust that your future, and that of your child, will be in capable hands when you come to us for help.
Contact Henrickson & Sereebutra today to schedule a FREE consultation with our child custody lawyer in Paulding County!
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