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How Is Child Custody Awarded in Georgia?



Custody laws vary by state, and Georgia child custody laws have their own unique variations. If you live in Georgia and are splitting up with your spouse or partner, you need to know how the child custody law in Georgia works and how custody is awarded.

Georgia Child Custody Laws

Courts across the country consider the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. States often have their own criteria for best interests, and Georgia child custody law is no different. In Georgia, the judge may consider any relevant factor when determining whats in your childrens best interests in a custody arrangement.

If you want to win custody of your children in Georgia, you need to know what those relevant factors are. According to child custody law in Georgia, custody may be awarded based on:

  • The love, affection, bonding, and emotional ties existing between each parent and the child.
  • The love, affection, bonding, and emotional ties that exist between the child and his or her siblings, half-siblings, and stepsiblings and where those other children live.
  • The capacity and disposition of each parent to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.
  • Each parents knowledge of and familiarity with the child and the childs needs.
  • The capacity and disposition of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, day-to-day needs, and necessary basic care, while considering the potential payment of child support by the other parent.
  • The home environment of each parent as it relates to the nurturing and safety of the child, rather than superficial or material factors.
  • The importance of continuity in the childs life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • The stability of the family unit of each of the parents and the presence or absence of each parents support systems within the community to benefit the child.
  • The mental and physical health of each parent.
  • Each parents involvement, or lack thereof, in the childs education, social, and extracurricular activities.
  • Each parents employment schedule and the flexibility or limitations, if any, of a parent to care for the child.
  • The home, school, and community record and history of the child, as well as any health or educational special needs of the child.
  • Each parents past performance and relative abilities for future performance of parenting responsibilities.
  • The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interest of the child.
  • Any recommendation by a court appointed custody evaluator or guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to act on behalf of another party-in this case, a child-who is deemed incapable of representing himself or herself.
  • Any evidence of family violence or sexual, mental or physical child abuse or criminal history of either parent.
  • Any evidence of substance abuse by either parent.
  • When child custody cases in Georgia involve family violence, the court will consider additional factors.

    Under Georgia law, both parents are equal when it comes to child custody arrangements. The court may award joint custody or sole custody. When it comes to child custody laws, Georgia also awards two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody.

    Other laws and regulations impact how child custody and support are awarded in Georgia. If you are seeking child custody in Georgia, you should consult with a local attorney who is familiar with the laws and regulations and who can help you achieve the custody arrangement that is best for you, your children, and your ex.