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One state taking fresh look at child custody decision process

Anyone who has gone through or may be considering the divorce process most likely has experienced a roller coaster of emotions during the trying ordeal. Even if the separation is expected to be relatively smooth, if children are involved, then decisions may still get hard at times. Settling the important issue of child custody may be one of the more challenging matters for all parties to agree upon. Most states, including Georgia, have a structure in place to help families determine the best solution for living arrangements for minor children.

One state, however, may be re-thinking how it handles the decision of where children should reside after a marriage dissolution. In many divorces, matters can become so fraught with animosity that the minor children feel caught in the middle. In these situations, the court system ensures that the children will have a voice in the decision-making process by having their own guardian assigned to them. It is this issue that has come under fire from parents and some lawmakers.

The concerns of these two groups stem from the issues of perceived unfairness and expenses. Parents who have been denied custody have stated that the process treated them unfairly and both parents and some representatives have expressed dismay over the costs of court-appointed guardians. Judges and other officials have offered the possibility of revisions in the choice of guardians as well as court-appointed legal assistance. The issue of expense has also been addressed in some proposals.

For the most part, children of divorce have expressed their appreciation in having someone appointed to look out for their best interests. Sometimes the issue of child custody may be too emotional for the separating parents to settle without a neutral third party to provide input on behalf of any child involved. Georgia families who may decide that a marriage or family separation would be the next best step in their future do have resources to turn to for information. Having the best information available may help ensure that all of the family members are given the best opportunities to thrive and be successful going forward.

Source:, “Lawmakers and parents call for child custody reforms“, Johanna Somers, April 1, 2014