How is Child Custody Determined?

When couples divorce, they must make many important decisions and resolve critical matters. Few issues may bear greater significance than the subject of child custody.

If you live in Alpharetta or the city’s neighboring suburbs and are concerned about the custody of your child/children, a child custody lawyer can provide valuable advice. An attorney who understands the highly personal nature of these concerns can answer your questions and address your concerns.

How is Child Custody Determined?

In accordance with state law, an Alpharetta family court may award sole custody to one former spouse or joint custody to both ex-partners. In addition, custody can be categorized as physical custody, which refers to where the child lives, and legal custody, which enables parents to render important life decisions pertaining to the minors in question such as decisions regarding education, medical issues, the religious faith the children will be raised in, and travel.

Moreover, minor children 14-years-of-age and older may have the liberty to choose which parent they would like to live with. However, a court may decide against the child’s wishes if the legal body determines that awarding the other parent custody would be in line with the child’s best interests.

Factors that May Impact these Decisions

In addition to a child’s personal views, a court may consider several other factors including:

  • The age of the children in question
  • Which parent is the better choice to provide basic primary care
  • Each parent’s criminal record
  • The mental health of both parents
  • Drug or alcohol abuse by either parent
  • Each spouse’s financial and employment stability
  • The home environment provided by each parent

A person’s individual circumstances may bring additional factors into consideration. An Alpharetta parenting plan attorney can help determine whether other issues may be worthy of debate.

Resolving Child Custody Issues in Alpharetta

Sometimes, spouses draft pre and postnuptial contracts before or after they are officially married. These legally-binding documents enable spouses to set forth guidelines regarding how specific aspects of their divorce should occur. Certain contracts may contain parenting plans, which could offer recommendations as to how to handle specific child-related issues such as:

  • The type of schooling the child/children should receive
  • Which parent will provide certain necessities such as medical care
  • The financial responsibilities each parent will have as their child/children age
  • How visitation rights will be governed for the parent not awarded physical custody

It is important to note, however, that while parenting plans may be a useful guide and offer a valuable tool in preventing spousal conflict in child custody issues, such blueprints may not always be the final say. An Alpharetta Family Court may determine all final child custody decisions and do so with the children’s best interests at heart.

Why Contact a Lawyer?

Child custody may become an emotional, if not contentious issue between parting spouses. The prospect of no longer living with children or potentially losing the close-knit relationship a parent has with their kids may lead to certain parents making snap, emotionally-charged actions that could prove detrimental to all concerned parties.

An Alpharetta attorney can help parents avoid that pitfall by reviewing the case and helping them formulate rational, unemotional strategies designed to increase the chances of finding the best child custody arrangement possible. One way a lawyer can help accomplish this task is by highlighting why a parent should remain an integral part of their child’s life.

Consult with a Child Custody Attorney Today

There are many important issues parting spouses must resolve. That said, child custody may be one of the most critical. The decisions may have a significant impact upon both the former spouses and their child’s life.

A compassionate child custody lawyer in the Alpharetta area understands the significance of these proceedings and can help create a plan that will consider the best interests of the children and parents. Call today to learn more.

Michael D Barber
Georgia Lawyer specializing in DUI, Drug Charges & Criminal Defense