Decisions about child custody and visitation are undoubtedly best when designed by the parents of the child and not by the court. However, the court has laws and regulations associated with child custody issues ready to enforce when parents cannot come to an agreement. These laws vary by state, but the general rule is to allow both parents an allotted time based on the best interest of the child.
Basic custody classifications and laws in Georgia
Georgia is a state that will legally assign one parent legal custody, where the parent is given responsibility for making weighty decisions such as education and religious upbringing. Physical custody is the parent who has the child in his or her care for the majority of the time.
Other state custody and visitation stipulations include:
- Joint legal custody offers equal decision making privileges to both parents.
- Children over the age of 14 can choose their primary residence.
- A judge may overrule residence decision based on best interest practices
- Official records are deemed accessible to both parents
It is also worth noting that Georgia custody laws grant automatic custody of a child to the mother when the parents are unwed. Fathers who wish to gain access to their child through custody and visitation rights are obligated to file a court form validating their legitimacy.
Best interest of the child is pivotal
Parents deciding privately on custody and visitation scheduling will need court approval before a final plan is determined. The judge of a family court is responsible for honoring what is in the best interest of a child when examining schedules and decisions made by both parents. A judge may order a revision to a plan or enforce a state approved plan if the best interest of the child is not being upheld.
What custody/visitation laws would you like to see made based on best interest of the child?