Atlanta Physical Custody Attorneys
Going through a separation or divorce is always painful, but the stakes are much higher when children are involved. Your children are the most important people in your lives, and making decisions about how much time children should spend with each parent is one of the most difficult issues you will face during the divorce process.
While judges have the final say in deciding physical child custody, you do not want these decisions made by the judge alone. Trying to negotiate an agreement about physical custody prior to appearing before a judge is the best way to ensure that you achieve the outcome that is the best for you and your children.
A lawyer is key to reaching this optimal outcome. An Atlanta physical custody lawyer can protect your rights and advocate for your interests in a way you will not be able to do on your own. Contact Kessler & Solomiany, LLC at (404) 688-8810 to discuss the legal options for your child custody case.
How a Physical Custody Lawyer Can Help
When handling a physical child custody case, an experienced attorney can help both parents come to a mutually satisfying custody agreement regarding their children. A lawyer can help negotiate when both parents disagree on certain issues about the children’s upbringing, or when they cannot decide who should have primary physical custody. When decisions are made, a lawyer can ensure that the custody agreement is legally binding, so that neither parent can renege on the custody arrangement in the future.
If the parents cannot reach an agreement, a guardian ad litum may be appointed, a custody evaluation may be performed, or the parents will have to go to court and present their case before a judge. Judges will have to make difficult decisions when the parents cannot come to an understanding. A judge may decide which parent will have primary physical custody, which parent will primarily decide how will the children be raised, or determine a custody schedule, in addition to other custody issues that partners or spouses face during the dissolution of a relationship. A lawyer can help you prepare for any of these alternatives so that you present the best case for receiving the custody arrangement you desire.
Why Choose Us?
Kessler & Solomiany, LLC is one of the preeminent law firms in the Atlanta area. Our legal team has vast and comprehensive knowledge of every area of family law, including divorce and child custody. We are committed to keeping abreast of all developments in family law so that we can always serve our clients as effectively as possible, which is why our lawyers complete more continuing education than is required by the Georgia bar. Our experience, knowledge, and skills have won us numerous accolades, including being named Super Lawyers in 2018 and previously.
How Physical Custody is Determined in Georgia
The standard in the state of Georgia for determining custody is establishing what is in the “best interest of the child.” Georgia law outlines several factors that a judge must consider before making a decision about what is best for the children’s welfare and well-being. The “best interest” is defined as whatever contributes to a child’s development as a person, including assisting the child in becoming a productive and happy member of society.
Physical custody refers to the actual time spent with the child, including where the child lives. Physical custody arrangements can be sole or joint:
Sole Physical Custody
A court will grant one parent complete control over where the child will live most of the time. The other parent will be granted visitation rights. If one parent has sole custody, the other parent’s visitation rights will be limited to less than 50 percent of the time, minimal time, or no time at all, depending on the situation. A visitation schedule needs to be agreed upon that specifies the days of the week, weekends, and holidays each parent gets to spend time with the children. The parent with sole custody is legally designated as the primary caretaker of the child, while the other parent is the secondary caretaker.
Joint Physical Custody
In a joint custody agreement, both parents agree to be the primary caretakers of the child or children. The parents agree upon a joint caretaking schedule in court. This type of arrangement allows both parents substantial and significant time with the children, although this doesn’t always mean each parent gets equal time. Each parent alternates as the caregiver of the children according to a predetermined schedule. Unless both parents have a 50-50 split of time, which is possible but rare with joint physical custody, one parent will act as the primary custodian and the other parent will be the secondary custodian. Living arrangements may be adjusted to meet the needs of the children. In some circumstances, joint physical custody may not be possible, because the parents are located too far apart or are unable to cooperate with each other.
If parents are unable to agree upon a plan, a guardian ad litem (or “GAL”) may be appointed by the court to conduct an investigation and make custody recommendations for the children. A custody evaluation may also be performed. A custody evaluation is usually conducted by a licensed psychologist who evaluates the parents and children through psychological tests, interviews, observations, and documentation reviews. A report of their findings helps determine the final child custody recommendation.
Contact Our Physical Custody Lawyers Today
If you need help resolving your child custody case, the Atlanta law firm of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC can provide legal assistance. We appreciate that time is of the essence in such an important and emotionally fraught situation. We can help you come to a timely and satisfying resolution, so that you and your family can get back to leading happy and productive lives. Our custody and visitation lawyers are available for a consultation to answer your questions. Contact us at (404) 688-8810 or chat with one of our representatives online today.