Georgia parents who are getting a divorce might have to go to court for a judge to make a child custody decision. They might need to submit certain documents to the court prior to the child custody hearing.
For example, a parent may want to submit visitation and phone call logs. These are records of when the noncustodial parent visited or contacted the child. They can be used by the noncustodial parent to show an ongoing relationship with the child. On the other hand, they could be used by the custodial parent to show that the other parent has not been spending time with the child. However, the noncustodial parent can argue that this is because the custodial parent has prevented visits or phone calls. This may be viewed negatively by the judge since a family court will value parents' efforts to cooperate with one another.
Other types of documentation may also be helpful. For example, a parent may want to submit a child's report card to show that the child is doing well with that parent. Neighbors, teachers or others may want to offer testimony. Either parent may request or a judge may order a custody evaluation. This involves a professional interviewing the child and, in some cases, visiting one or both parents' homes.
Parents may be able to make a decision about child custody without going to court. There could be a variety of arrangements that work for them. Some parents may agree to share physical custody, and in other arrangements, even a parent who has visitation rights might still have nearly 50% of the time with the child. Some parents try an arrangement in which the child lives in their shared home while they take turns staying there. However, this is usually regarded as a short-term solution.