The Bonds Of Parents And Children
The importance of the bonds between a child and parent cannot be overstated. Because of this, child custody often becomes the most stressful and contentious issue in family law cases. It is difficult to think of losing any time with your children, and that mindset of loss and scarcity makes it difficult to negotiate with your co-parent about custody matters.
At The Law Offices in The Bruce Building — two general practice law firms under one roof — the attorneys understand what you’re going through and are here to help you find workable solutions. They will explain Georgia’s child custody laws and practices and our approach to each case, so you can make meaningful, informed decisions during the process.
The Basics Of Child Custody In Georgia
There are two types of custody under Georgia law. Legal custody refers to a parent’s decision-making authority over matters such as a child’s schooling, religious indoctrination, medical care and other life decisions. Physical custody refers to which parent the child will be with at any given time.
In most cases, parents will share joint legal custody. It is also very common for parents to share physical custody – although not necessarily equally. One parent is often designated the primary physical custodian while the other is given secondary physical custody. Absent evidence of abuse or other problems, courts typically determine that keeping both parents involved is in the best interests of children. Physical custody requirements are often dependent on the age of the child, where the parents live, the child’s school activities and the parents work schedules.
Advocacy In Child Custody And Visitation Matters
Although the information above is a general guideline, the details of any given case are important. It is the job of the attorney to demonstrate your unique contributions as a parent and advocate for the custody arrangement you believe is best for your kids. If you want to deviate from the model of shared custody, attorneys Kenneth Bruce or Robert Patten will help you develop a strong argument for why doing so would be appropriate and in your children’s best interests.
Paternity Actions For Unmarried Fathers
In Georgia, fathers who are not married to the mother of their child at the time of birth may have limited or no parental rights. Maternity is self-evident because the mother gives birth. But paternity must be established in order for a father to claim his parental rights. It is also necessary to establish paternity if the mother later wants to collect child support from the father.
In either case, establishing paternity often includes a DNA test followed by court petitions. The attorneys are ready to guide you through the entire process an ensure that you (or your co-parent) have the rights and financial responsibilities of parenthood.
Learn More In A Free Consultation
The Law Office of Robert M. Patten, LLC and the Law Office of Kenneth D. Bruce, LLC are both conveniently located in Summerville’s The Bruce Building. Both serve family law clients throughout Northwest Georgia. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, please send an email or call 706-907-0892 and ask for Robert or Kenneth.