Working Out Joint Custody And Parenting Plans
Georgia family law has shifted to a more equalized parenting model, although not all courts have fully embraced joint custody. In fact, the approach to custody varies from county to county, and from judge to judge.
With your parental rights on the line, you need a sense of where you stand before you ever set foot in family court. At Hill Macdonald, LLC, we practice exclusively in family law. Our familiarity with local judges and their tendencies allows us to tailor the strategies accordingly in your custody case to best achieve your goals.
Attorneys Vic Brown Hill and Brad E. Macdonald have 25 years of combined experience in custody proceedings in Cobb County, Fulton County and Cherokee County.
Joint Custody: Shared Rights And Responsibility
With more mothers working outside the home and more fathers playing a direct role in their kids’ lives, standard visitation every other weekend doesn’t reflect reality. True joint custody — equal parenting time and equal say in parenting decisions — is still rare, but the pendulum is swinging in that direction.
Joint physical custody means that the child spends significant time in both households, though not necessarily 50-50. Joint legal custody requires parents to consult each other regarding education, health care, religious upbringing and other child-rearing decisions.
Our lawyers negotiate — or litigate — the specifics of joint custody and parenting plans, such as:
- The parenting rotation
- Pickup and drop-off
- Holidays, vacations and summers
- School events and extracurriculars
- Communication between parents
- Communication with the children
- A forum for resolving minor disputes
In our experience, joint custody arrangements are hardly ever a pure custody decision. Child support is tied to parenting time. Some fathers are motivated by lower support payments, as well as additional time with their kids. Some mothers are happy to share the parenting responsibilities even if it means less support, while others resist joint custody because of the financial hit. We can help you find the right balance or compromises to make it work for your family.
Are You A Candidate For Joint Custody?
Some judges are very reluctant to award joint physical custody, and some families are better suited to traditional custody and visitation. We will sit down with you to discuss the law, your priorities and the realities in your jurisdiction.