Child Custody – The Law and Your Rights

There are few subjects as controversial as child custody. It is an issue wrought with emotions, and can be very destructive to the youngsters involved. The most effective method of dealing with child custody is for both parents to be aware of the legal facts, and be willing to cooperate with the court’s decisions.

In Georgia child custody cases, as with many states, it is the purpose of the court to make decisions which are in the best interest of the child, and, when necessary, ensure that the parents comply with these decisions. The more cooperative the parents are, the less traumatic child custody arrangements will be to everyone concerned– especially the youngsters.

Prior to litigation, the parent who currently has physical custody of the child is said to have temporary custody. It then becomes the place of the court to determine which type of custodial arrangement will be in the best interest of the child. The possible types of custodial arrangement include: joint custody; sole custody; and, in the instance of more than one child, the option of split custody.

There are numerous factors which the court will consider in determining the custodial arrangement that it feels will be best for the child. However, while such factors as parental fitness, location of residences, financial qualifications, and other factors are strongly taken into consideration, Georgia is one of the states in which the child’s own wishes and preferences are seriously considered.

Visitation arrangements are a part of the Georgia Child Custody decision. This, too, is intended to reflect what is best for the child. The Georgia courts have a very strong principle in visitation– in essence, that it is nearly always best for the child if he have regular contact with both parents and other family members. It is very rare that the court will deny visitation privileges to a noncustodial parent; when necessary, visitation arrangements include supervision by a third party, as well as restricted locations.

As some parents are prone to misusing custodial and visitation arrangements for trivial or vindictive purposes, the court can intervene in such cases and ensure that its decision be upheld.

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