Common Questions about Child Custody Disputes

Child custody┬áis often a contentious issue during divorce proceedings. Both parents may argue that they ought to have full physical custody of the child. However, it’s important to remember that the family court judge is primarily concerned with establishing a child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. That being said, many factors may influence the judge’s decision. When you schedule an appointment with your divorce attorney, consider bringing along a list of any questions you may have about child custody in Cumming.

Is the Mother More Likely to be Granted Custody?

While there is no law which mandates one parent be given preferential treatment over another, traditionally the mother was granted physical custody of a child. This was based on socio-economic past norms (the existence of stay-at-home moms) However, modern family law does not favor one parent over the other. Instead, the family court judge will establish custody based on the child’s best interests. The Court will look at many factors to consider what is in the best interest of the child. This ranges from work schedule (If the mother works 80-hour weeks and the father has a more reasonable work schedule, the judge may be more likely to award custody to the father), to involvement in the children’s day to day lives (maybe mom is the coach for all of son’s sporting events) and beyond.

What Is Child Support Intended to Cover?

Child support laws mandate that the parent who has primary physical custody of the child receive child support payments from the other parent. A child support order is legally enforceable. Child support payments are intended to help support the child’s basic needs, such as food, housing, clothing, healthcare, and education. In addition to regular child support payments, some support orders will order that the parents share the cost of additional expenses. For example, if a child’s daycare costs $800, the noncustodial parent would be liable for a percentage of that cost, even if he or she already makes regular child support payments.

Can Parents Make Shared Custody Work?

When parents share physical and legal custody, and the divorce was not amicable, it can be difficult to work cooperatively for the sake of the child. However, doing so is vitally important for the child’s well-being. If the relationship between the parents is particularly challenging, it can be helpful to communicate via email or text messaging. These methods may help parents communicate while avoiding verbal confrontations. And importantly, they establish a record of the communication forcing parties to be on best behavior, or else they may face their messages be read out in open Court.

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