Thursday, October 15, 2015

How do we resolve custody of our children?

Under Georgia law the Court uses a "best interests of the children" standard.   This means the Court does what it deems is best for the children.   There is basically two (2) types of custody issues.  The first is "legal" custody, which regards who makes decisions regarding medical, educational and religious decisions for the children.  Usually the Court grants joint legal custody, which each parent having input and access to records and having the right to talk to teachers and doctors.  If the parents do not agree, then one parent has final decision making responsibility.   Sometimes parents agree that the final decision making responsibility is shared.  In other words, Father might have final decision making responsibility for medical decisions and Mother might have it for education.

Physical custody refers to what home the children primarily reside in.   Usually one parent is the primary physical custodian.  The primary physical custodian  receives child support from the other parent and the child attends school in that parents' district.   Sometimes parents have joint physical custody, which means that each parent has the child for 1/2 of the time.

Attached is a sample Parenting Plan.  You need to prepare a parenting plan for consideration by the Court as part of an uncontested proceeding, or if contested, for the Court's consideration at hearing.

Do not believe that you have to use a cookbook visitation plan.  The Courts encourage both parents to be as involved in their children's lives as possible, and will consider any rational parenting plan which is good for the kids. 

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Please call if you need legal representation to Thomas F. Tierney at (770) 631-1100 or e-mail at   Thomas F. Tierney is an attorney who represents clients in south metro Atlanta, including Fayette County, Coweta County, Peachtree City, Tyrone, Fayetteville, and Newnan Georgia.

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