Friday, September 2, 2011

What is Physical and Legal Child Custody?


Georgia family law revolves around the best interest of your child. The court determines both physical and legal custody of your child after divorce or separation with your child’s other parent. Georgia law provides that the courts are not to give preference to either mothers or fathers when determining physical and legal custody.

Physical custody is where the child resides and typically means that the other parent will have visitation rights. Physical custody can be joint or sole. Joint physical custody means that the child takes turns residing with each parent equally. Sole physical custody means that the child resides with just one parent (the custodial parent). In Georgia, it is not common to see joint physical custody.

Legal custody gives you the authority to make decisions concerning your child’s needs. These include decisions about religion, education, and non-emergency medical care. Legal custody, like physical custody, can be joint or sole. Parents with joint legal custody share this decision making authority, however only one parent has this authority with sole legal custody. Sole legal custody is only granted in instances when one parent is deemed unfit. It is more common for parents to have joint legal custody, meaning that the child’s parents will need to work together to make decisions.

If you are in the middle of trying to determine your child’s custody contact our office @ 770.466.2700 to discuss your options. 

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