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Experienced Gwinnett County Child Custody Attorney

Child custody and child support are often sensitive and controversial issues in a contested divorce. Emotional strain and hostility are at their peak when divorcing couples fail to agree on custody or support arrangements.

When deciding issues of child custody, Georgia courts encourage both parents to share in decisions regarding their children and for each to have a significant, lasting relationship with them. With this in mind, no two family situations are alike, and the court can award only one parent the physical and legal custody of the children or joint custody to both if the judge sees it to be in the best interests of the children.

Contact Attorney Sharon Jackson today at (678) 890-4200 regarding your child custody issue.

Children who have become used to living with both parents and will now have to travel between homes will find divorce to be difficult. Having an experienced and strong representation in an Georgia child custody dispute is essential to a favorable result that fills the needs of parent and child. By working with a dedicated child custody attorney, steps can be made to maintain the relationship between parent and child while protecting the child’s sense of security.

Types of child custody in Georgia

Georgia child custody law does not adopt a particular attitude favoring the mother or the father. Nor does it award any specific type of custody to either parent. In resolving custody cases, the court will take into account both physical custody and legal custody.

Physical custody pertains to the parent’s physical possession of the child, or the amount of time the child actually spends with each parent.

 Legal custody relates to the right given to the parent to make all important decisions that are concerned with raising the child, which include health care, residence, religion, education, and discipline.

gwinnett-county-child-custody-attorneyConcerning physical and legal custody, the judge can award sole custody of the child to one parent or joint custody to both parents following certain arrangements.

For example, a parent may be awarded physical custody of the children, while the non-custodial parent may be given visitation or parenting rights on weekends or certain nights of the week. The judge can also order that the custodial parent has the sole authority to make commonplace decisions regarding the child but must seek the approval of the non-custodial parent on important decisions, although the last word may still come from the custodial parent.

Georgia child custody laws for unwed parents

The custody of all children must be settled before divorce can be granted in Georgia. Custody may also be resolved between the child’s parents who are separated but not divorced, and between parents who never married each other.

A non-biological parent cannot be awarded child custody unless the court has established that living with another relative would be in the best interest of the child. Although it is not required for the court to end the rights of the biological parents, the court must be fully convinced that the real parent is not fit to be granted custody.

What does “best Interests of the child” mean in Georgia?

In establishing child custody arrangements, an attorney or guardian ad litem can sometimes be assigned by a judge to represent the child and ensure that their rights and best interests are safeguarded. Through this, the judge will take into account:

  • If there are siblings
  • The gender and age of each child
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • Which parent had been the child’s principal caretaker prior to divorce
  • If granted custody, which parent will help the child keep a strong emotional bond with the non-custodial parent

In most cases, the court awards parenting time to the non-custodial parent.

Can a child choose which parent to live with in Georgia?

A child may choose which parent they wish to live with if they are over 14 years old. The judge may grant the child’s request, unless there are certain findings to prove that it would not be in the child’s best interests. Significantly, even if a child over 14 years old can choose which parent to live with full-time, they still have to visit their non-custodial parent.

How Attorney Sharon Jackson can help

Many couples hang on to a failed marriage for the benefit of their children. When the painful decision to dissolve their marriage is finally reached, both spouses should strive to work out an arrangement that can serve themselves and their children.

Child custody battles are always difficult. When your family struggles with custody and child support issues, make sure to hire the services of an excellent Atlanta child custody attorney to ensure that you obtain the best results possible. Knowing we are ably handling your case will free you of mental stress or anxiety.

Our legal team will guide you through the sensitive issues of custody, child support, and parenting time (visitation). We will thoroughly inform you about Georgia’s applicable child custody laws, your parental rights, and the factors that will help the court determine what is in your child’s best interests.

Contact Attorney Sharon Jackson Today

The law firm of Attorney Sharon Jackson, LLC offers the highest degree of attention and experience you need to deal with your child custody issues, from uncontested divorces to the most contentious child custody cases in the Atlanta courts.

Call us at (678) 909-4100 to schedule a consultation with an experienced member of our team, or contact us online to speak with attorney Sharon Jackson in Lawrenceville, GA.


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