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What should parents in Georgia know about child custody cases?

Figuring out child custody can be either be really easy for divorcing couples or really difficult. Every familial situation is different, and as such, individualized child custody arrangements need to be made. There are a few options for custody arrangements in Georgia, including sole and joint custody. However, each can written to accommodate the needs of the children and parents.

Some couples may not be able to come to agreeable terms on child custody, and those cases will ultimately be decided by a family court. Other couples may be able to negotiate terms before heading to a child custody hearing. Writing a parenting plan that includes specific details about custody arrangements can help couples obtain a desired custody order. A parenting plan is generally comprised of information about day to day living arrangements, visitation schedules, holiday plans, transportation arrangements and the best way for parents to contact each other and children if needed. Before these plans are put into effect, a judge will normally review the specifics to ensure the best interests of the children are being fully considered.

After a child custody plan is created, down the line changes may need to be made. Modifications of a custody plan can be requested by parents, though modifications are usually only granted if a significant change in circumstances has taken place. However, when children are 14 years old, they will have the right to request certain living arrangements. At that point, modifications can be made in appropriate circumstances, based on those requests.

Figuring out child custody often requires a lot of negotiation and attention to detail. As getting a modification isn't particularly easy to do, stating desired custody arrangements from the onset is important. Parents in Georgia who are working through divorce proceedings may struggle to find common ground on a lot of issues, including child custody, but those who are willing to work together and create a plan that works for them and their children can achieve a child custody arrangement that is suitable for everyone.

Source: georgia.gov, "Learning about Child Custody", , Oct. 12, 2014

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