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What divorcing parents in Georgia should know about custody proceedings


During child custody proceedings, divorcing parents may either be awarded sole or joint custody of their children.

When parents in Georgia divorce, one of the issues they are often most concerned about is who will win custody of their children. To ensure they are prepared for what will occur, there are several things divorcing couples should know before child custody proceedings begin.

Before the initial hearing

Divorcing parents should collaboratively develop a parenting plan before arriving at their first child custody hearing, states This plan should outline a number of details, such as:

  • Which parent the children will spend their time with on each day of the year
  • How the children will spend holidays and vacation times
  • How the children will be transported from one parent to the other and what drop-off points will be used

This plan should also outline how one parent should contact his or her children when they are under the other parent’s care.

During proceedings

Once child custody proceedings begin, the court will listen to points made by both parents in order to determine what the best interests of the children are. They will also consider each child’s comfort, safety and health, states Once these factors are deliberated, the court may decide to grant either joint or sole custody.

According to the American Bar Association, in sole custody arrangements, one parent takes care of the children the majority of the time. This parent is also responsible for making major decisions about his or her children. In sole custody situations, the noncustodial parent is usually granted visitation rights. These rights give the noncustodial parent the ability to spend time with his or her children, usually during vacation periods and overnight visits.

Comparatively, if the court decides to grant joint custody, joint legal, joint physical or a combination of both physical and legal custody may be awarded. In joint legal custody arrangements, both parents have the right to make major decisions about their children. These decisions may relate to where the children attend school, what medical treatments they receive and their religious beliefs. When parents are granted joint physical custody, they are able to share physical parenting time of their children. However, this does not necessarily mean that the children will spend equal amounts of time with each of their parents.

Seek the assistance of an attorney

Divorcing parents in Georgia may be concerned about how the decision to end their marriage will affect the amount of parenting time they have in the future. If you desire to obtain sole or joint custody of your children, speak with an attorney to determine what steps you should take next.

Keywords: divorce, child, custody, proceedings