Child custody disputes can arise in a variety of ways. The rules regarding how to bring a claim for child custody, a claim for parenting time with your child, or a claim for the right to make decisions regarding your child’s care, are complex and contain pitfalls for those who are not well-versed regarding family law in Georgia.
Georgia Lord is knowledgeable and experienced with child custody and parenting time disputes. She can help you formulate a realistic custody goal and craft a plan for pursuing it. She can also help you find creative solutions that will fit the needs of you, your ex, and your children.
Child Custody Disputes During Divorce
Child custody disputes often come up in Divorce actions, when divorcing parents disagree regarding how much time their children should spend with each parent or which parent should make decisions about the children.
Child Custody Modification Actions
As time passes, the children get older and the parents’ circumstances change. A plan that may have worked well for everyone involved back when it was adopted may no longer be a good fit. One or both parties may seek to change the custody plan that is in place by bringing a an action for Modification of Custody.
Under Georgia law, when a child is born to parents who do not marry, the mother has sole custody of the child. Although the child’s father shares responsibility for providing support for the child, he does not have any right to custody over the child. This means that the father can only spend time with the child (and can only participate in decisions about the child’s medical care, education, and religion) if the mother allows him to do so. The father can only obtain these custody rights by filing a Legitimation Petition.
Grandparent Custody and Visitation
To understand Georgia law regarding grandparents’ rights you must weave your way through a complicated web. Statutes provided for some rights that were later limited by court decision. In some cases, grandparents can get the right to spend time with their grandchild even if the child’s custodial parent objects, but each situation must be carefully weighed against the provisions of the applicable law. In some situations a grandparent may challenge the parents for primary custody of the grandchild.
Interstate Custody Disputes
When parents live in different states there may be disagreement regarding which state’s courts should decide their child custody issues. This question is governed by rules and processes set out in the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, or UCCJEA. Georgia Lord gained extensive experience with these UCCJEA procedures during her work as a Family Court staff attorney.