Divorce. Child Custody. Child Support. Adoption.
In Georgia, we generally describe two aspects of custody: “legal” custody and “physical” custody. Typically, a party who has “legal” custody of a child has the right to have some input into major decisions about the child’s health, education, religion, and extracurricular activities; and, also, has the right to obtain the child’s medical records and school records. A party who has “physical” custody has the child in his or her physical care and control.
The most common custody arrangement for most families is joint legal custody with one parent having primary physical custody and the other parent having secondary physical custody. Essentially, this means the child lives the majority of the time with one parent and visits regularly and often with the other parent, and both parents cooperate to make major decisions affecting their child’s welfare.
There are, of course, many other possible custody arrangements, including joint physical custody, where the child spends substantially equal amounts of time with each parent, and nonparent custody arrangements, where the child is primarily cared for by someone other than the father or mother.
In every divorce action where children are involved, the parents (or, in some cases, the Judge) must fill out a PARENTING PLAN. This is a multi-page form, often done as a type of questionnaire, that provides details about which parent (or other custodian) is caring for the child at all times, who is making major decisions, how the child is transferred between custodians, and many other points of consideration regarding custody and visitation.
If you would like to see a Parenting Plan form, or if you have questions or would like an appointment, please click on Contact and e-mail us. You will receive a timely response. Ms. Hardy and her staff are waiting to help you.