When parents divorce or separate and they have disputes about what is in their child’s best interest, the courts intervene. As a parent, most importantly you want to make sure that your child is protected. Many factors influence an award of custody and the way a case is presented in court can have a large impact on the result for you and your children. That is why it is important to have the maturity and experience of Attorney Karen Brown-Williams to back you up.
Child Custody Cases in Atlanta, Georgia and Surrounding Areas
Child custody refers to the legal guardianship involved in a divorce case. In Georgia and most other states, there are two forms of custody, legal and physical.
Legal custody refers to the child’s lifestyle. Religious, medical, and educational decisions are made by the legal custodian(s). Legal custody can be granted to one or both parents.
Physical custody refers to where the child lives. One parent may have sole physical custody, and the other may have visitation rights. Or, both parents may have physical custody, which means the child lives with each parent half of the time.
Joint custody is a court order whereby custody of a child is awarded to both parties. In joint custody both parents are custodial parents and neither parent is a non-custodial parent, or, in other words, the child has two custodial parents. Joint custody has two main forms: joint physical custody and joint legal custody.
In addition to straightforward custody matters, we also provides representation in other types of custody cases, including:
– Enforcement of visitation agreements on behalf of non-custodial parents
– Modifications of parenting plans on behalf of non-custodial parents
– Modifications of visitation schedules on behalf of custodial parents
– Enforcement of visitation rights on behalf of grandparents
By providing you with up to date legal knowledge and the best advice possible, we can make the custody decisions much easier for you and your family to make. For more information on fighting for your rights as a parent, contact attorney Karen Brown-Williams, a Georgia child custody lawyer today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get a divorce in Georgia?
You can finalize a divorce as little as 31 days after service. Georgia does not require a waiting period for divorce.
Am I entitled to alimony?
Alimony is based on one party's financial needs and the other party's ability to pay, as well as conduct issues. Realistically speaking, alimony these days is intended to be rehabilitative in nature, to provide the requesting spouse with an opportunity to become gainfully employed and/or to increase his or her earning potential. Some judges are more likely to award spousal support than others, so it helps if your attorney is familiar with your assigned judge.
How are our assets divided?
Georgia is an equitable division property state. Equitable division means whatever is fair and reasonable under the circumstances; it does not necessarily mean an equal division of "marital" assets between spouses, although more often than not, most assets are divided somewhere in the range of 50/50. There are numerous factors the court will consider to determine what is fair and reasonable under the circumstances
Does every case have to go to trial?
No. The vast majority of cases, including family law matters, are resolved without a trial, through agreement of the spouses, negotiations by their attorneys, or mediation. If the spouses cannot agree, even after being prodded to do so by attorneys, mediators, and the court, a trial is necessary.
What is family court?
It is a court devoted to handling only family law cases.
What is child custody?
Custody is a legal determination of how the parties care and make decisions for minor children. There are two types of custody: Legal and Physical. Legal custody determines which parent(s) will participate in making major decisions affecting the children, such as decisions about the children’s education, healthcare and well-being. Physical custody involves who will care for the children on a day-to-day basis.
What factors can be used to decide custody?
Ideally, the parties to a divorce are able to reach a mutually agreeable out of court marital settlement agreement that includes custody and visitation with any minor children of the marriage. When it becomes clear an agreement is not forthcoming, a court will have to decide using a “best interest of the child” standard.
How is child support calculated?
Child support is calculated based upon guidelines that are established by the state. Generally, child support guidelines take into account the incomes of the parties, the number of days each party has the child, and other expenses related to the child, such as health care and daycare costs. Although each state has set guidelines, the Court may deviate from the guidelines at its discretion.
What is alimony?
Alimony is generally a support payment by one spouse to the other spouse. Alimony is generally not available to a spouse who caused the dissolution of the marriage by adultery or desertion. Alimony may be paid in a one-time lump sum, periodic payments for a limited time or until the receiving spouse dies or remarries. Alimony is awarded to either spouse in accordance with the needs of the spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay
What is “Joint Legal Custody”?
Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make decisions affecting the children such as education, medical, religious, extra-curricular and so on.
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