A divorce is never easy, however when children are involved it can be much more emotional and distressing. In the first part of this series, we established that while all state courts consider the best interest of the child when making child custody determinations, it’s best to work with an attorney who is familiar with Georgia child custody laws. We also reviewed the types of child custody recognized under Georgia Law. Let’s now review some additional information to keep in mind during a divorce and child custody determination:
Child Support: During any divorce involving a minor child, child support is mandatory even if the other parent is unemployed or unfound.
Judges and Children: Judges will do their best to put the best interest of the child first. They will listen to both sides and consider the child’s health, welfare and overall situation before determining custody. Their goal is not to force change onto a child unless absolutely necessary.
Judges and Parents: Children benefit greatly when both parents are active in their lives. Judges want the parents to be as involved with their child as possible and will encourage the parents to look past any hard feelings for the benefit of their child.
Children’s Preferences: When a child reaches the age of 14, through the court, they can decide which parent they choose to live with. They can also change their decision of custody every two years.
Judges and Domestic Violence: If an established pattern of domestic violence exists, judges will seriously consider the history before making any final custody decisions.
Issues Not Affecting Custody: If the behavior of a parent doesn’t have a negative direct effect on a child, it typically won’t influence a judge. However, if that behavior could endanger a child such as a parent drinking and driving, using drugs or having a propensity to use violence, it will most likely warrant further consideration before a final custody decision is made.
If children are involved in your divorce, please seek qualified, experienced child custody legal help to guide you through the law and protect your most valuable asset, your children. For more information regarding divorce or child custody laws and advice regarding your specific situation, contact Gerstenberger Law at (770) 920-7722.
The information found on the Gerstenberger Law site is for educational purposes only. Your situation and the situation of others is unique and more complex. This is neither legal advice nor to be considered legal advice. Contact us for advice about your specific situation.