Family law attorneys in Georgia and elsewhere are likely familiar with the dynamic that arises in child visitation cases that is generally referred to as parental alienation. It involves a legal dispute about visitation rights in which the non-custodial parent usually files a petition to obtain some degree of time with the children. In response, it is determined during fact finding that the custodial parent has unfairly and unjustifiably vilified the noncustodial parent to the children in such a way that they refuse to visit with the other parent. This tactic, usually carried out by the custodial parent, is universally criticized and soundly rejected by jurists, psychologists and social workers alike.
Throughout history, technology has been used for good and ill. Jet engines whisk people to far off destinations in hours, but they can also carry warheads. Medical advances have saved countless lives, but have also led to the proliferation of devastating biological weapons. Recently, a new child custody study has found that smartphones and other technological advances can also be a major source of good or ill for Atlanta couples that share custody of their kids.
If you and your spouse had decided to divorce, and you were asked to pick a few select dates and events that you wanted to spend with your children, what would you choose? Religious or secular holidays, or perhaps your birthday? What about an annual family reunion or some other special event?
In years past, the child custody orders handed down by most family court judges in Georgia and around the country were largely identical. When parents divorced, the mother would get sole custody of the children, and the father would get parenting time every other weekend, or a similar schedule.
Given the centrality of child custody and visitation considerations in many divorce proceedings, it is probably not surprising for a family log blog to periodically address issues and timely stories relating to these concerns. We note, for example, the several blog posts we have previously devoted to various aspects of visitation, namely, our August 3 post on parenting plans; a September 7 article on visitation rights accorded by a court via online video conferencing; and, most recently, an October 28 post reporting on the child custody/visitation hearing involving professional basketball player Dwyane Wade and his wife.
In Georgia, divorcing couples are required by law to establish a parenting plan that addresses their arrangements regarding child custody and other important matters involving their child. A parenting plan includes information stressing how the mother and father will share time with their child, how they will divide parental responsibilities, and how visitation and other matters will be scheduled in the child's best interests.