Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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Seeking custody? Being informed and prepared can help

One of the most upsetting legal challenges parents in Georgia face is establishing a child custody or visitation plan when they are no longer together. It can be enormously complicated for parents to either work together or fight for custody in court to secure a fair arrangement.

Parents often feel intense fear, anxiety, stress, sadness and anger as they navigate this process, which is why seeking custody can be so physically and emotionally draining. However, one way to make things a little easier if you are in this situation is to learn more about what you may be able to expect from the legal perspective. Being informed and prepared can alleviate some of the worry and distress you may be feeling.

To begin with, you should know there are no presumptions about custody arrangements in the eyes of the court. This means that the courts do not show favor toward a mother having primary custody or parents sharing joint custody. The award of custody will be based on several factors including what is in the best interests of the child and the relationship between the child and each parent.

It is also important to understand that there are two types of custody: physical and legal. Even if you have primary physical custody of your child, you and the other parent may have joint legal custody. Generally speaking, parents will share one or both forms of custody.

Finally, you should keep in mind that your child can have a critical say in where he or she lives. According to Georgia custody laws, a child who is 14 or older can decide with which parent he or she wants to live. Before the age of 14 but after 11, the child's desires will still be considered by the court.

These are a few basic pieces of information you should understand if you are going through the process of seeking custody. While every case is different and there is no guarantee your case will go the way you expect it, you can prepare for the road ahead by learning about your options, knowing your rights and working with a family law attorney.

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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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