Child Custody FAQs

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions of child custody in Georgia we receive at Hecht Family Law. For answers to questions about your specific situation, please contact us online or by phone at 678-926-9234. We offer free phone consultations and flexible appointments at our Alpharetta office.

What is the difference between physical and legal custody?

Physical custody determines where children will live; legal custody determines who gets to make decisions about their children. Legal decision-making encompasses decisions about religion, education and health care, among other things, and is often split between parents. For example, one parent may have sole physical custody — that is, the children live exclusively with that parent — but share legal decision-making jointly with the other parent.

Does Georgia have a preference for joint or shared custody?

Child custody decisions are guided by the best interest of the child, and Georgia courts recognize that it is generally in a child's best interest to have a relationship with both parents, except in cases of abuse or neglect. While shared parenting is often in the best interest of the child, it is rarely a perfect 50-50 split. This is one reason why it is important to work with a lawyer who can advocate for your best interests in a parenting plan.

Can adoptive parents still get custody after a divorce?

Yes. When you adopt a child, you become the legal parent of that child, and that doesn't change during the divorce process. Adoptive parents should not be treated any differently than biological parents in determining custody arrangements. Your attorney can help make sure you are, in fact, treated equally.

Can children choose which parent to live with?

Regardless of the age of your children, Georgia courts will take their wishes and best interests into account. Children aged 14 and over can generally choose which parent they want to live with, as long as the court determines that the parent is fit and the decision is in the child's best interest.

Do mothers automatically receive custody after divorce?

No. Georgia child custody decisions during divorce are guided by the best interest of the child, not any presumptions based on the gender of a parent.

Ask Us Your Other Questions

We are happy to answer the rest of your questions. Call 678-926-9234 and speak with a lawyer today.