Atlanta Child Custody Lawyers

Nothing is more important than your children. Deciding how the children will spend time with each parent is one of the most difficult issues faced by parents who decide to end their relationship. The standard for determining custody is the “best interest of the child,” and that is our primary focus in representing our clients. Judges have broad discretion to make that determination and to establish a physical child custody schedule, or “parenting plan” for the children. Our attorneys will use their knowledge and understanding of the various factors that affect a judge’s determination, with the goal of ensuring that the best interests of your children are protected throughout the process of child custody in Atlanta.

If you and your spouse are unable to agree upon a parenting plan, we may suggest that a Guardian ad litem (“GAL”) be appointed by the Court to conduct an investigation and make a recommendation about custody.

Another option Atlanta child custody laws provide is to request that a custody evaluation be performed. A custody evaluation is typically conducted by a licensed psychologist, who will evaluate you and your family through interviews, psychological testing, observations, and review of documents. The evaluator will prepare a report of his or her findings and make a child custody recommendation, which, like the GAL recommendation, is not binding on the court.

Occasionally, our attorneys will recommend both a GAL and a custody evaluation in appropriate cases. Custody evaluations are often appropriate when a parent has concerns about the other parent’s mental health. Our child custody attorneys in Atlanta will provide you with more detailed information about GALs and custody evaluations if your situation is appropriate for either one of those processes.

Child custody battles can be very expensive, as you will more than likely be expected to pay half of the fees charged by the GAL and the custody evaluator. The toll on the children can also be high, as studies indicate that children fair worse post-divorce if their parents engage in a high-conflict divorce. We will guide you every step of the way to try to minimize the impact the divorce has on your children, as we share your goal of wanting your children to become happy, healthy, productive members of society.

Once it has been determined, both legal and physical custody can be modified. Legal custody determines who will make major decisions for the children. For a modification of custody to occur, there must be a material change in condition that substantially affects the welfare and best interests of the child. The non-custodial parent’s parenting time may be modified if it is determined to be in the best interest of the child, irrespective of whether there has been a material change in condition. Whenever the Court considers issues that impact children, the overriding concern is the children’s best interests.

The process of modifying custody in Atlanta must involve filing a Petition for Modification of Custody. Simply agreeing with the other parent that you are going to change the parenting schedule is not legally binding or enforceable. It is important to keep in mind that a change in custody can, and often is, accompanied by a change in the amount of child support paid. Child custody and child support are closely tied; under most circumstances, the parent who has the majority of parenting time receives child support from the other parent.

Atlanta, Georgia Custody Attorneys – Richardson, Bloom, & Lines

Determining the correct jurisdiction and venue in which to file a Petition for Modification of Custody is both important and complicated. We are amongst the best child custody attorneys in Atlanta and will evaluate your case and provide advice consistent with your goals and the best interests of your children.

Families in Transition Seminar

The following Counties offer seminars and court ordered educational programs for parties involved in divorce, separate maintenance, paternity, change of custody, visitation, legitimation, and other domestic relations matters involving minor children. Please see the links below for more information.

Let us make a difficult situation better for you.
Contact us at 404-888-3730 today to schedule your initial consultation.