Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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Which factors can negatively affect child custody arrangements?

If you are a parent getting divorced or have a baby with someone to whom you are not married, child custody is likely going to be an issue. Many people in this situation have some assumptions about this legal process and what they can expect. However, unless you are familiar with Georgia family laws, you may not have an accurate picture of what lies ahead.

For instance, some people believe that mothers are automatically awarded primary custody. This is not true. State laws specify that there shall be no presumption of custody in favor of either parent nor should there be a presumption of the type of custody until all the facts are presented. However, parents should understand that there are certain factors that can negatively affect the determination of child custody.

Generally speaking, any behavior or action that negatively impacts a child's well-being could count against a parent. This could include:

  • A history or physical or emotional abuse
  • Chemical dependency issues like drug addiction or alcoholism
  • Inadequate living situations
  • Failure to support the child's relationship with another parent
  • A lack of any significant relationship or emotional bond with the child
  • Leaving the family home
  • Participation in activities or behaviors that could put a child in danger

Having an awareness of these factors could help parents assess their situation more accurately and take steps to improve their situation in an effort to secure a more favorable outcome in regards to custody and visitation.

It can also be wise to discuss specific questions and concerns with your attorney who can help you understand what you can do to protect your parental rights and your relationship with your child. By proactively addressing potential problems and avoiding some bad decisions that could jeopardize your standing in custody disputes, it can be possible to secure a custody and visitation plan that best reflects your rights, capabilities and wishes as a parent.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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