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What is child custody in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2022 | Firm News

When you split from a spouse, you have many issues you will need to settle before a divorce becomes final. One of these is child custody for any children you and your spouse share.

Custody issues in a Georgia divorce may become particularly divisive, especially if spouses start the process angry and bitter with each other. To help smooth a path to a more amicable settlement, it may help to understand how custody works.

What does child custody mean?

The court needs to settle two types of custody determinations before granting you and your spouse a divorce.

Legal custody

Until children reach the age of 18, parents remain responsible for making decisions on their behalf. When you and your spouse separate, the judge wants to know who is going to become responsible for these choices, which include:

  • Religious practice
  • Education
  • Medical care

Family law judges prefer that parents both make these legal decisions. However, this is not always possible, especially if there is some history of criminal or violent behavior.

Physical custody

Parenting time falls under physical custody. It is a schedule that shows the court how you and your ex will divide time and care of the children. It should include a detailed plan of the number of overnights you and the other parent will have the kids and how the exchange occurs. A document called a parenting plan details this schedule, as well as other co-parenting agreements you make.

Should you and your spouse prove unable to settle things, a judge will review the record and decide on child custody. To keep this from happening, you may want to speak to a professional with a proven track record of getting results.