Family Law Experience You Can Trust

FAQs About Child Custody for Fathers in Georgia

by Sharon Jackson  on December 21, 2023 under 

Child custody for fathers in Georgia can be confusing and hard to navigate. If you are a father, you may be unsure what your rights are, you have to see your children, raise them and be part of their everyday life. In the state of Georgia, it is typical for primary custody to go to the parent who has historically performed the responsibilities of the primary caretaker caregiver of the child, regardless of the child’s gender. Yet, there are many exceptions to this rule.

Because of the complexity of child custody laws in Georgia, especially for fathers, it is beneficial to work with our child custody lawyer, who can help you navigate your rights and provide you with reassurance about your legal options.

In every situation, we encourage you to contact Lawrenceville Georgia child custody Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC for a consultation to discuss your case in private. Child custody for dads is very much an option, and we can help you to fight for it.

To help you with some of the most common questions that people have regarding child custody in Georgia, consider the following.

What Are Father’s Rights in Georgia?

Both the mother and father who were married have equal rights to parent a child. However, in situations where the couple is unmarried, the biological mother will have automatic legal and physical custody of the child. If you are unwed, the father must obtain legal rights to the child. To do that, a judicial petition seeking legitimation must be conducted. This allows the father to prove that he is, in fact, the biological father and, therefore, has the legal right to parent the child.

Under the state’s laws, a “legal” father is a person who meets one of several qualifications, regardless of biological association:

  • He adopted the child legally.
  • He was married to the mother when the child was conceived or born, which makes this person the presumed father of the child.
  • He married the mother of the child after the birth of the baby and is the biological father of the child. as , has recognized the child as his own since that time
  • He legitimated the child, meaning he filed a legal action in a Georgia court and proved he was the biological father.

Once these steps are met, if necessary, the father’s rights under Georgia law are equal to that of the mother.

What is Legal Custody Versus Physical Custody?

There are two forms of custody awarded in child custody cases. Legal custody is a term used to describe the person who is able to make decisions for the child. A parent with legal custody is able to make decisions regarding:

  • The child’s health
  • The child’s education
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Religious education and practice

A parent who is given physical custody is the individual with whom the child lives most of the time. It is possible for both parents to have shared legal and physical custody. In this situation, the parents must agree on major decisions., and a living arrangement is created to meet the child’s needs. and a parenting schedule that allows for equal or near equal parenting time.

What Does the Best Interests of the Child Mean?

The term “best interests of a child” is very commonly a part of child custody battles in Georgia. Ultimately, the court makes decisions about custody and other legal matters based on what it believes is best for the child, not either parent or any other factor. This is based on all available information about the situation, such as which decision will:

  • Keep the child safe
  • Support the child’s growth and development
  • Provide for the physical and mental needs of the child
  • Be least disruptive to the child’s needs
  • Keep the child with siblings or in connection with both parents or family members

Do Mothers Always Get Child Custody in Georgia?

No, mothers are not always awarded custody in Georgia. It is however true that in some counties, there is still a strong bias against fathers and in favor of mothers. This does not mean you need to give up and not fight for your rights.  Sharon Jackson is an aggressive child custody attorney who can help you navigate through these landmines and challenges.  She will give you candid advice about your specific child custody case.

The court’s ultimate goal in every situation is to ensure that the child’s best interests are always kept in mind. When the father can provide a stable environment for the child and can meet the child’s needs, the court will always consider that in their decision-making process.  Often the parent’s desires and preferences are not consistent with the best interest of the child. To win in court, the father has to show that his desire to be the primary physical custodian and caretaker for the child is not just in his best interest, but is also and more importantly, in the child’s best interest.

Can a Mother Stop a Father From Seeing Their Child in Georgia?

If a father is recognized as the legal parent, then the father has equal rights to the child’s parenting. If the father is not recognized as the legitimate parent under the state’s laws, then the father may have to prove they are the legal parent to be awarded custody and visitation.

A mother cannot stop a married father from seeing his child, even if they are separated unless she has a court order to do so. These are normally not granted unless there has been proven family violence acts which endanger the child.

Can a Father Win Custody of a Child in Georgia?

Attorney Sharon Jackson, LLC fights for good parents and wins.   She will be able to meet with you and assess the possibility of you winning custody as a dad based on your specific facts and history.

There are many times when it is best for the child to remain with the father or for the father to be awarded custody. Every situation is different, and the court typically rules based on the evidence that shows which parent’s home the child may be best cared for and have the child’s needs met.

What is Legitimation?

Legitimation is a legal process in which a father of a child born out of wedlock can prove that they are the legitimate parent. This method allows for a father to establish legal rights for the child. The legitimation process aims to establish paternity of the child.

Fathers who were married to the mother of their biological children at the time the child was born are not required to go through the process of legitimation. You automatically have the same rights that the mother has to the child.

How Do I Make My Custody Case Stronger as a Father?

There are several things you can do as a father to ensure you receive equal and fair treatment under Georgia’s child custody laws. We recommend meeting with our child custody attorney in Georgia to discuss your case for specific recommendations. However, some of the steps we may encourage include:

  • Ensure that you have a positive, strong relationship with your child.
  • Don’t allow the mother to treat you like a step-parent to your own biological kid. Step up and make independent decisions about the child.  You don’t need her permission to parent your child.
  • Maintain records of child support payments, communications, and parenting time spent with the child.
  • Attend all parental meetings and the child’s events at school or other activities.
  • Ensure you have a clear plan for caring for your child, including being able to meet their physical and mental needs, provide a safe home for them, and meet any of their specific medical needs.
  • Ensure you have the financial means to provide for the child and a strong track record of taking care of the child.
  • Work with your attorney to determine whether or not your child needs his on lawyer to represent the child only.   The lawyer, a guardian ad litem, referred to as a “Guardian or GAL” has to be carefully selected to ensure a fair and neutral assessment of your situation.

Contact Child Custody Attorney Sharon Jackson in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Today

 Call us at (678) 436-3636 to set up a free case evaluation today.

Take the time now to contact Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC to discuss your case with our legal team. We will help you develop a plan. As an advocate for child custody for dads, we are always here for you. We can help you prepare for divorce and child custody.


Awards & Memberships Top Divorce Lawyer in Lawrenceville
We Need Your Vote! Best of GwinnettSuper Lawyers Sharon Jackson
Contact & Directions

Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC
175 Langley Drive, Suite A1
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Phone: (678) 909-4100

Get Directions
We Gladly Accept
we acceptPay Online
Search This Site

Copyright © 2024 Attorney Sharon Jackson, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Statement | Terms & Conditions