Parenting in Accordance to Child Custody Laws in Georgia

Every state has its own law for handling all types of cases. Child custody laws in Georgia will be slightly different from other states in the US. The judges in Georgia follow their set of regulations when awarding the custody of the child when her or his parents are separating.

Thus, if you are planning to separate from your partner, it is important that you understand the basics of Georgia child custody law.

Child Custody
What the Law Looks At

The law considers both the parents equal when it comes to determining child’s custody. It is up to the court to announce a joint or sole custody decision. There are two types of custody that is awarded in Georgia, which are: legal custody and physical custody.

Physical Custody 

This determines which parent the child lives with, while the other can meet the child as per the conditions laid by the court. In case of joint physical custody, both the parents have to share equal time with the child. Hence, the child gets to spend equal time with both parents.

Legal Custody

In legal custody, the parent that gets it has all the right to make decisions regarding the child. However, in case of joint legal custody both the parents have equal right to make the decisions concerning the child’s future.

Factors that Determine Custody of a Child

The family court in Georgia determines the custody based on the best interest of the child. Parents who are filing for the custody of the child must be aware of the several factors that the court uses to announce its verdict.

• The bond the child shares with the parent
• The ability of each parent to support the child financially
• At the age of 14, a child can determine where he or she wants to live. However, if the child is in the age group 11 to 14, the court will consider the child’s wishes regarding the same.
• The bond between the child and his/her sibling(s)
• Physical and mental health of the parents
• Safety prospects of the child with the parent
• Involvement of the parent in child’s educational, social, and extracurricular activities
• The amount of time the parent can spend with the child
• The overall environment of the home
• Willingness of the parent to encourage relationship between the child and the co-parent
• Evidence against domestic violence or abuse or any criminal activity

So if you are planning to separate from your partner, you must know about the child custody laws in Georgia to be better prepared against the judgement.


Understanding the Child Support Modification in Georgia

When a couple files for a divorce in Georgia, it is the court that determines who of the either parent owes child support and by how much. Once the child support orders have been passed by the court, the order can only be changed when either of the parents files a petition in the court to modify its original order. It means that paying and receiving child support are not necessarily permanent and are subject to change. So, whenever any parent experiences a change in their circumstances they might want to warrant a child support modification.

Courtroom Trial

How Is It Done In Georgia?

The child support laws are handled differently by every state. There are numerous reasons why the judges may consider modifying child support in Georgia. However, the petitioner would have to bring in the proof to support their claim. The court may think about increasing or decreasing the child support because of the following reasons:

•  Significant rise in the cost of living
•  Noteworthy increase in the income of the paying parent
•  The parent with the custody of the kid involuntarily loses the job or falls ill
•  Physical disability of either parent
•  A substantial increase in the needs of the child with age
•  Change in custody of the child; it might be given to the paying parent
•  Either parent remarries and receives additional income
How to Tackle the Situation

Whatever be the reason, the petitioning party has to ascertain that there’s been a noteworthy change in the circumstances, in order to prompt an upward or downward modification from the court. It is important to get the order from the judge and not rely on the verbal agreement between you and your ex, as it is not legally bonded. Until there’s an official court order, the last court order will be upheld and you will have to adhere to it. Therefore, even if the child moved in with you, you will be responsible to pay for child support.

Attorney’s Fee

In Georgia, the chances of court awarding attorney’s fees to the prevailing party are high, irrespective of the fact that which party filed the case. However, the court awards the attorneys fee or not depends upon the cases, but the possibility are quite high. Since the change in modification is usually vital to the petitioner, you must discuss it with an attorney before going through with it.

At the End

The child support modification is a legally approved thing; therefore get the court orders and not rely on the verbal agreement between the two parties. Get in touch with a good divorce lawyer to understand the complete procedures for child support modification in Georgia.