Do Georgia courts favor mothers in child custody cases?

Fathers in the midst of a divorce may be concerned about their access to their children and their ability to obtain child custody. The assumption many people have is that mothers are best suited to care for a child.

Does this assumption impact the way courts determine which parent gains custody? Thankfully in Georgia, the answer is no.

Georgia courts look at what is in the best interest of the child, considering the arguments from both parents and the health and wellbeing of the child. They will consider what custody arrangement would be best for the child’s comfort and safety and make a determination, which cannot be amended unless there is a significant change in circumstances with the families.

The judge will determine whether to award joint or sole custody. Joint custody can be the shared legal or physical custody of the child, or both. When legal custody is shared, parents make decisions together about the child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing and general wellbeing. When physical custody is shared, both parties are awarded equal parenting time.

Even when sole custody is awarded, the noncustodial parent has rights when it comes to their child. The judge may approve visitation rights for the noncustodial parent, which can be reviewed every two years. The custodial parent is required to write a letter to the noncustodial parent to inform them of a new address at least 30 days prior to the move. However, the custodial parent usually does not have the right to exercise legal authority over the child.

Once your child reaches age 14, they are allowed to choose with which parent they want to live. They may request a change in custody once every other year thereafter.

As a father, you are not immediately set up to lose in family court. With the help of a family law attorney experienced in helping fathers keep access to their children, you can still enjoy parental rights and quality time with your child.

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