Parents looking to secure the custody of their children must consider many factors. Like alimony and other aspects of a divorce, child support must be agreed upon by both parents.
When disagreements arise, family law court judges must decide how parents will share custody rights. Parents need to understand how to present the evidence that will support their custody case.
A stable environment plays a major role in the wellbeing of children and their families. The following describes how this often overlooked factor can impact child custody decisions in your divorce.
Child Custody Laws in Georgia
Georgia family law courts consider both parents to share the responsibility of raising and caring for their children. But they must prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody agreements.
Parents may be granted joint or sole custody depending on the circumstances of their case. In addition, Georgia courts distinguish between legal and physical custody.
Legal custody allows you to make important decisions related to your child’s upbringing, education, healthcare, and other needs. Physical custody dictates who the child will live with.
Parents may share legal and physical custody, or custody may be granted to one individual. The following are just some of the factors that courts must consider in the decision-making process:
- Parents’ capacity to provide the guidance and emotional support to raise the child
- Parents’ finances and their ability to provide daily needs, food, health care, clothing, and other essential items
- Parents’ knowledge of the child’s needs and preferences
- The home environment provided by each parent
Creating a Stable Environment for Your Child
Your home environment will impact child custody decisions made by a court judge. Family law courts consider your circumstances when establishing a standard for a stable home environment.
An experienced family law attorney will help you determine how the courts may be influenced so that you provide the right evidence to support your case.
Court judges may determine that an older child should have a certain level of privacy offered by having their own bedroom and bathroom.
If a child is required to share a bedroom with others, the courts may decide that the child should live with the parent who can provide adequate space to meet their needs.
The presence of step-children and other family members may also impact the decisions made by the courts.
It’s ultimately up to the judges to decide on these and other aspects. A home with less space may be deemed appropriate if the parent is able to spend more time with the child than their spouse.
So it can be difficult to predict how family court judges will grant child custody depending on these and other factors.
The Right Legal Strategy for Your Child Custody Case
Divorcing spouses are required to submit a parenting plan to the courts. Knowing what information to provide is critical to obtaining the child custody decision you want.
You should demonstrate your ability to provide the resources your child will need for a healthy environment that supports their best interests.
Access to your child’s educational and medical records should also be secured. As a parent, you’ll need to be aware of any changes in the child’s needs.
Parenting plans include information related to the time spent with each parent as well as the manner in which birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions will be addressed.
Your attorney will guide you in creating and submitting your parenting plan. More importantly, understanding the child custody process helps you achieve the legal rights you need to support your child’s wellbeing during and after your divorce.
Creating a stable environment is essential to this process. But it’s just one of many factors that family law courts consider.
Consulting with a legal professional gives you the resources you need to continue to provide the support your child needs so that you protect the wellbeing of your entire family.