How do the Georgia family courts divide custody in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2022 | Family Law

The idea that you could lose custody of your children might keep you from filing for divorce. Parents usually want more than anything to protect their children and preserve the relationship they have with them.

For many parents in Georgia, concerns about the children can keep them trapped in an unhealthy and unhappy marriage, to the detriment of the entire family. Although many people have heard exaggerated and frightening stories of parents denied all contact with children after a divorce, such outcomes are uncommon.

When you understand how the Georgia family courts make custody decisions, the idea of moving on from an unhappy marriage may not seem quite so intimidating.

What is best for the children is always the focus

The best interests of the children are what a judge needs to think about if they split up parental rights and responsibilities. When it comes to the division of custody and the need for child support, the focus should always be on what is best for the children rather than what the adults would prefer.

Most divorces result in shared custody. A judge will divide physical and legal custody. A parent with physical custody has time with the children, while a parent with legal custody gets to make decisions for them. When parents share responsibilities, one will have primary custody so that they are ultimately the one with authority to provide for the children. 

Custody orders can always change

People sometimes worry about custody proceedings because they think they will have to uphold whatever arrangements a judge decides on for a decade or longer. Thankfully, custody orders change all the time.

After a significant shift in your personal circumstances, you can request a modification in court. A judge can then review the circumstances and the change that you would like to request while keeping the needs of the children as the main concern. They may change the division of parenting time or even address specific issues, like whether one parent can take the children on an international vacation.

Learning about the Georgia approach to custody decisions can make divorce seem less intimidating.