The Complex Nature Of Child Custody

When a parent is attempting to navigate child custody mediation, the entire process can seem confusing and frustrating. In these instances, it is wise to have a skilled family law attorney on your side answering questions and providing the clear direction you need.

At Hecht Family Law, we have a detailed understanding of all things family law. We know the Georgia divorce process in and out, and we can pass this insight onto our clients. There are 17 factors that judges will carefully examine when determining child custody.

As stated in OCGA § 19-9-3, the factors affecting child custody are:

"(A) The love, affection, bonding and emotional ties existing between each parent and the child

(B) The love, affection, bonding and emotional ties existing between the child and his or her siblings, half siblings and stepsiblings and the residence of such other children

(C) The capacity and disposition of each parent to give the child love, affection and guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child

(D) Each parent's knowledge and familiarity of the child and the child's needs

(E) The capacity and disposition of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, day-to-day needs and other necessary basic care, with consideration made for the potential payment of child support by the other parent

(F) The home environment of each parent considering the promotion of nurturance and safety of the child rather than superficial or material factors

(G) The importance of continuity in the child's life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity

(H) The stability of the family unit of each of the parents and the presence or absence of each parent's support systems within the community to benefit the child

(I) The mental and physical health of each parent

(J) Each parent's involvement, or lack thereof, in the child's educational, social and extracurricular activities

(K) Each parent's employment schedule and the related flexibility or limitations, if any, of a parent to care for the child

(L) The home, school and community record and history of the child, as well as any health or educational special needs of the child

(M) Each parent's past performance and relative abilities for future performance of parenting responsibilities

(N) The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interest of the child

(O) Any recommendation by a court-appointed custody evaluator or guardian ad litem

(P) Any evidence of family violence or sexual, mental or physical child abuse or criminal history of either parent

(Q) Any evidence of substance abuse by either parent."

Whether you are worried that your history might be misrepresented by these factors or you want to ensure that your ex will be cast in an accurate light, it is crucial to work with a skilled family law attorney. We can fully investigate how these factors might impact your child custody determination and provide the clear direction you need.

Call or email a lawyer at our Alpharetta office to schedule a free phone consultation. We can answer your questions about the entire divorce process.