What the Court Considers When Determining Child Custody
During a divorce, one of the most important issues to be resolved is child custody. Whatever the dispute between the parties might have been, it is everybody’s intention to make sure that the child (or children) suffer the least in the matter.
Each parent has an equal right to custody. Under the law, no parent is inherently favored by the courts and determined to be better for the child, unless proven so based on a variety of factors. In Georgia, the judge’s decision about the child’s custodial rights is based on the following considerations.
- The age of the child is an important factor in custody battles. The court prioritizes consistency in the child’s life over everything else when the child is younger. If the child is older, their wishes are also taken into account, and alternative living accommodations are also considered.
- The parent’s wishes are always asked when it comes to their child’s custody rights. The court might consider the individual wishes and see if it serves the child well in the custody case.
- In the case of an older child, the child is asked their preference and reasons for the choice. Again, there is no guarantee the court will uphold the request, as the child is, after all, a minor. If the court deems the child’s wish appropriate, the custodial rights will be granted accordingly.
- Though both parents love the child and are emotionally invested in their relationship with the child, the courts have to be practical when determining custody arrangements. The parent needs to be in a position where they can offer physical, emotional, and financial security and stability to the child, for the court to be convinced that either of the parents is fit for custody.
- The financial standing of each parent is also looked at. If either parent owns a house or can provide better living conditions, such as separate rooms, better schooling, etc., they may be preferred as the custodial parent.
- In an effort to cause the least amount of disturbance in the child’s life, it is also preferred that the child stays with the parent who lives closer to the current school, neighborhood, or daycare of the child.
- If there were or are any accusations of abuse, neglect or violence from either party, those will be thoroughly investigated and considered.
While these factors are generally considered when it comes to determining the custody of a child, each child custody case is unique, with its own set of complications and attachments. Determining custodial rights takes into account both tangible as well as intangible factors, and thus, can often become complicated. At all times, the courts main focus is determining the best interest of the child. The Law offices of Daniela McCalla, LLC understands the significance of the family as a unit and that the changes in the family structure and matters about child custody can be physically and emotionally challenging. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights so you can play a significant role in your child’s life. We also help provide relevant information about laws regarding child custody in Georgia. Contact us for a free consultation, and let us provide a smoother transition in your family structure.