Georgia Child Custody Law – What you need to know!
Georgia Custody Law Answers
Who gets the Children?
Georgia is a gender-neutral state, and this means both parents have equal rights when it comes to Child Custody. Georgia has its own set of rules regarding Child Custody Law. Judges must follow these rules when awarding custody. If you are separating or divorcing from the parent of your child, you should understand the general principle behind Georgia Child Custody Law. It is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the laws in the Peach State to help you, your children, and your ex-arrives at best possible custody arrangement.
We’ll start with the concept of best interest. Georgia Custody Law focuses on the best interest of the child when making custody determinations. Still, because some laws in Georgia differ from other parts of the country, it’s important to work with an attorney who understands Georgia Child Custody Law – allowing you (and your child) to reach the optimal custody arrangement.
Georgia Child Custody Law
According to Custody Law in Georgia, both parents have equal rights in terms of child custody. The court can award either joint or sole custody. This custody can be either legal or physical.
Legal Custody is the right to make important decisions regarding the child’s health and well-being. When parents have joint legal custody, it means they have equal rights when making major decisions involving medicine, education, and religion. One parent, however, will have final decision-making rights.
Physical Custody focuses less on important decisions and more on where the child lives. When parents share physical custody, they have an equal amount of time and contact with their child.
How old does a Child have to be to decide where they want to live?
Courts can order joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or both. In Georgia, children fourteen and older can make an “election” – sharing which parent they’d prefer to live with. A judge can still overrule this preference if he/she believes the best interests of the child are at stake.
Georgia Child Custody Law requires that a Parenting Plan is created for any and all custody agreements. This plan should acknowledge:
- The child’s need to change or grow and he/she matures.
- A close and continuing parent-child relationship.
- The parent with physical custody will make day-to-day and emergency decisions while the child resides with him/her.
- Both parents will have access to all important records and information involving health, religion, and education.
- Where the child will spend each day, including holidays, birthdays, vacations, and school breaks.
- Transportation arrangements, including exchanges between parents.
- How parents will allocate decision-making authority in terms of the child’s education, health, and religious upbringing.
- What limitations exist when a parent has physical custody in terms of the other parent making contact/receiving information.
Child Support Calculations
In Georgia, child support payments are calculated based on a specific formula. This formula takes self-employment taxes, gross income, pre-existing support orders, health insurance premiums, and other children into account – among other factors. In general, child support must be paid until the child turns eighteen, marries, becomes emancipated, or dies. If your child attends secondary school, payments may continue until the child (children) turn twenty. To determine how much children support your children may be eligible to receive, the Georgia Child Support Commission has created an online child support calculator.
S. Dixon Law Offices – Child Custody Law
Are you looking to hire an experienced law firm that is familiar with Georgia Custody Law? S. Dixon Law Offices can represent you effectively. S. Dixon Law Offices is a local Family & Divorce Law Firm located in Buckhead, Atlanta.
Attorney Stephanie D. Dixon specializes in Family and Divorce Law and has been serving Georgia clients for more than a decade. As a former Law Professor, she can guide you through the legal process of Child Custody Law. Feel free to contact our office for more information. Book your first consultation online. The initial fee for the consultation is $197 and will be applied to your case when you retain Attorney Dixon’s services. Call (770)-728-6391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.