Parents have a lot of responsibility to their children, and they generally have to figure out how to share those obligations if they divorce or separate from their children’s other parent. Once the relationship between the parents changes, it may be necessary to have a formal custody order put in place to help them share custody of their children.
In scenarios where parents don’t successfully negotiate their own arrangements, a family law judge will make the final determination about the division of custody. These are the two types of custody a Georgia judge will divide in the event of a contentious child custody dispute.
While it is rare to deny any fit parent joint legal custody, some parents are granted sole physical custody. Under these circumstances, a child’s other fit parent may be granted parenting time but may not be empowered to make binding decisions concerning their everyday well-being.
Parents don’t just provide for the physical needs of their children. They also have to help plan for the best future possible. Legal custody or the right to make major decisions on behalf of children. Legal custody is what allows them to enroll a child in school, make choices about their medical care and instruct them in religious matters.
It is common for judges to expect parents to share both physical custody and legal custody of their children. Parents typically need to agree on major matters related to their children and work out a schedule where both of them spend liberal amounts of time with their children.
Only in scenarios where parents sharing that authority and time with the children would endanger them will a judge grant sole legal and physical custody to one parent or the other. Most adults can anticipate sharing time and responsibility for their children with a co-parent once a judge has reviewed a contentious custody matter and crafted a custody order for the family in question.