Providing Comprehensive Child Custody Counsel In West Georgia
The fate of children is often the top concern of parents who are getting divorced or ending a nonmarital relationship. Georgia courts consider the best interest of the child when ruling on any custody matter.
The court will rule on two types of custody:
- Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding a child’s education, religion, health and extracurricular matters.
- Physical custody refers to the actual time in days and nights that each parent will spend with the child.
At McMahan Perry & Phillips, LLC, we are sensitive to the importance that parents place on maintaining a strong relationship with their children when the parents’ relationship ends. Our attorneys work to protect our clients’ rights while seeking an efficient and cost-effective solution.
If your existing parenting plan no longer works because you need to move or due to changes in your life, it is important to obtain a court-approved modification. Modifications may trigger changes to child support or other existing orders.
Finding The Best Solutions For Your Child
Of course, parents are encouraged to reach agreement on a custody plan without litigating. Joint custody allows both parents to play an equal role in their child’s life. Parents can share joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both. If one parent is named the primary caregiver, a visitation plan will be developed to ensure that the other parent receives time with his or her child.
Our team includes a licensed mediator. We have a strong track record helping our clients reach collaborative agreements regarding custody through negotiations. However, if your child’s other parent is uncooperative, our trial-tested attorneys will advocate aggressively on your behalf in court.
What The Court Considers
If parents cannot agree on custody terms, the court will weigh a number of factors in making its decision. These include:
- Which parent handled the majority of parenting duties before the relationship ended
- Work schedules
- Ability to provide a stable and caring home
Our clients often ask us when a child can express which parent he or she wants to live with. The court will include a child’s wishes at age 14. Although a child’s wishes influence the court’s decision considerably, the final decision must still meet the requirement of being in the child’s best interest.