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Child custody in Georgia

Parents and guardians in Georgia may benefit from learning more about how the state handles child custody issues. Noncustodial parents who are interested in obtaining custody of their children are required to file a petition for a custody change with the Superior Court that presides over the custodial parent's residing county. At the hearing, noncustodial parents are required to exhibit material proof of a significant change in circumstance that directly affects family life and the child's best interests.

Custodial parents who have been scheduled for military deployment are expected to arrange any temporary changes or modifications to their parenting plan as soon as possible. In regards to grandparents obtaining visitation or custody rights, family courts typically consider birth parents' rights first. If either parent is willing to care for the child and is deemed competent to do so, a judge may be compelled to grant them custody before any grandparent.

Family courts typically review visitation rights for modification once every two years. However, there must be significant changes in circumstances to compel family courts to review the parenting plan for a change in custody. Courts require custodial parents to provide noncustodial parents or other guardians with at least 30 days' notice in written form before relocating to a new residence. The foremost priority in any child custody case is for the courts to do whatever is in the best interest of the child.

Parents who need help understanding how Georgia's child custody laws affect their particular circumstances may benefit from contacting a family lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to explain the ramifications of various statutes while helping parents or guardians prepare the necessary documentation. Family lawyers may be effective in helping parents negotiate more amicable terms concerning their rights to custody, visitation rights or other aspects of the parenting plan.


Source: Georgia.Gov, "Learning about Child Custody", November 03, 2014

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