Your home life has sadly been disrupted because you and your spouse are splitting up. However, no longer living with your spouse is not all there is to a divorce, especially if there is a child involved. If you have a child, you and your spouse will need to work out a child support agreement and some sort of child custody agreement.
In Georgia, there are specific steps that you will need to follow from the beginning of the process to the very end. The first thing that you will need to do is to file a child custody petition in Superior Court in the county in which you live. If you are in the process of getting a divorce, you will want to include the child custody petition with the divorce papers. You are then responsible for either serving in person or delivering the papers (including the custody forms) to the other parent by way of someone from the county sheriff’s office.
What types of child custody are there?
In Georgia, there are two different types of child custody: physical and legal. Whoever has physical custody of the child will live with the child. On the other hand, the person who has legal custody of the child has the power to make major decisions on behalf of the child. If both parents share legal or physical custody, one parent will be considered the primary custodial parent and that parent will have the last word when it comes to making decisions on behalf of the child.
Once the custody orders are finalized, they will remain so until the child reaches the age of 18 years. For all intents and purposes, the custody orders are set in stone; however, if a major life event occurs, either parent has the right to request a modification in the custody orders. It is important to understand that succeeding in getting the custody orders modified is often easier said than done. To get the custody orders modified, the parent will need to prove that circumstances have changed significantly and those circumstances will dramatically affect the child’s best interests.
Sound advice from a Georgia family law attorney
Getting a divorce and watching all of the changes that your family is going through is never an easy thing. If you are experiencing similar circumstances, the solid advice of a family law attorney may make your experience much more tolerable and you may find the process much easier to navigate so that you and your family can look forward to a brighter, happier future.