A divorcing parent in Georgia may seek to get custody of their children after the end of their marriage. They can seek legal custody, which gives control over the decisions about a child’s religion, health care, education and other parts of their welfare. There is also residential/physical custody, which relates to where a child will spend most of their time.
For most of the 20th century, fathers who sought to obtain shared child custody after a divorce were likely to be disappointed. This is because the family courts tended to rule in the favor of the mothers, who were typically granted sole custody. However, for the last 30 years, there has been a significant change in the way the courts have been awarding child custody. Judges have been favoring mutual agreements in which shared custody is included.
The divorce laws differ from state to state, but the family courts of today use a presumption of joint legal custody as a starting point when considering child custody. Furthermore, most courts are open to awarding shared residential custody. Getting residential custody divided into equal halves usually presents some logistical difficulties. Working parents may find it difficult to have to transport the kids back and forth between their two residences during the school week. This is why the courts still tend to choose mothers when assigning shared residential custody schedules.
A family law attorney may work to obtain a client’s preferred divorce settlement terms regarding a divorce legal issues, including child custody. After considering the factors of a case, legal counsel may recommend using litigation or negotiation tactics to resolve disputes regarding joint custody, visitation times, parental relocation and more. If a client’s circumstances change, the attorney may petition the court to modify the current child custody order.