Child Custody & Visitation

Traditionally, Georgia courts awarded custody to one parent (the custodial parent) and visitation to the other parent (the non-custodial parent).  Now, the court divides custody into two parts:

a.  Legal Custody – the right of both parents to make decisions concerning their children and to have access to medical, educational, and other information about their child.

b.  Physical Custody – the right of the custodial parent to have the child live with them.  The non-custodial parent is still awarded visitation.

The Georgia Legislature has established a set of laws for determining child custody (O.C.G.A. § 19-9-1).  The goal of the custody law is to develop a parenting plan for the parents to share time with their children.  The test for awarding physical custody of a child to a parent is based upon what is in the best interest of the child.  The law gives the parents the right to negotiate a parenting plan.  However, if the parents do not agree on a parenting plan, the trial judge will apply the law and make the decision of which parent will have physical custody of their minor children.

Pat Claiborne is knowledgeable about the child custody laws and has 30 years experience in Augusta, Georgia, representing parents in child custody matters. We do our best to amicably resolve child custody and visitation issues through negotiation.  But, if necessary, we will fight for your rights before the court.

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.