Litigation may be the most common route for married couples seeking a divorce, but it is not the only one. There are alternate dispute resolutions you can choose to use. One is mediation, which the state of Georgia requires all couples to try before going to trial.
As if divorce were not difficult enough, leaving an abusive marriage makes it even more so. You are likely to face more hurdles not only from your vengeful spouse but also from the judicial system. You may not fit the stereotype of an abuse victim. You may not be meek, fearful and dependent but outspoken, angry and independent instead. You may be wealthy or suffer from a mental illness. You may experience verbal abuse, not physical.
Even though the position of a guardian ad litem (GAL) is to ensure a child's best interests are taken into consideration in a custody determination, parents don't always agree with what GALs consider to be the best course of action. This is because most parents believe they know what's best for their children, not some stranger who barely knows their child let alone the situation they are in.
When parents divorce or separate, it's necessary to make custody and visitation arrangements for the children. Although parents are allowed to make such determinations outside of the courtroom - provided the arrangement is in the best interests of the children - some may find amicable negotiations impossible or extremely challenging without guidance from a lawyer or the courts, oftentimes meaning a judge is needed to make the final decision regarding custody.
Federal statistics reportedly show that children with two parents are more likely to be successful students who don't get in trouble and who stay out of jail. Kids with two active parents are generally more secure, drug and alcohol-free, and not pregnant or depressed. Only a few states, however, strongly push divorcing couples into a shared child custody arrangement that attempts to parse the time relatively equally between the parents each week. In Georgia, the typical arrangement gives primary custody to one parent and secondary custody to the other, with some shared decision-making.
The latest research on the well-being of the children of divorced parents reveals that shared custody or something similar may be best for the emotional stability and happiness of the children. A new study published in a social sciences journal concludes that children do better when they have a solid bonding relationship with both parents. That finding tends to challenge the current practice in this country, including to some extent in Georgia, of having a child custody arrangement with a primary custodial parent, and a non-custodial parent who gets relatively little time with the children.
What happens in Georgia or another state when the dispute over custody has to do with a frozen embryo? The outcome cannot be predicted with certainty due to the fact that there are no comprehensive statutes at this time dealing with the problems that can arise from an in vitro fertilization situation. However, one way to avoid a potential child custody dispute is for the parties to sign an agreement concerning the future of the embryos should the parties separate in the future.
In Georgia and elsewhere, separated or divorced parents usually have a child custody order or agreement that defines their respective rights to custody and visitation. When the children are of school age, there is the possibility of confusion or conflict regarding who may pick up the child after school or at other times. With a wide diversity of schools, school systems and other learning institutions in the mix, the school and other learning arrangements may need to be defined in the child custody order or agreement. Otherwise, the school may have no guidance when a parent shows up to pick up a child.
It appears that the MTV reality show "Teen Mom 2" is pushing the limits of good sense by covering a real-life custody battle between a mother, Jenelle Evans, and her mother, Barbara Evans. The child custody dispute is about the custody of Jenelle's 5-year-old son Jace. Such disputes are not uncommon here in Georgia or in any other state.
In Georgia or any other jurisdiction, child custody disputes are not amenable to formulistic resolutions. To say that all child custody arrangements should be based on an equal sharing of time by the parents is to deny the basic uniqueness of each family's situation that comes before a court. Child custody is best determined by a judge who delves into the specifics of the case and makes an informed decision, based on sufficient fact-finding, regarding what would be best for the particular children under the given circumstances.