Every relationship between a parent and a child is different and unique, and so is the final decision on which parent lands custody of the children after divorce. When seeking a father’s custody rights in Georgia, this issue of custody often becomes a legal battle, but sociocultural norms tell us that usually, it is mothers who keep primary custody, but this trend is now changing.
Despite divorce being an emotionally and legally difficult time, the topic of children’s custody can be a more difficult one. Research in the field by U.S. Census Bureau shows that since 2017, fathers are now more likely to hold primary custody of their children; there are many things that make this an important legal issue for families and their members. Because gender stereotypes and roles play such an important part in the structure of families, it is easy to see how both parents play different roles. However, it is children’s legal rights that decide the case.
To determine a father’s custody rights in Georgia, we must first look at the rights of the child as laid down by the State Constitution of Georgia and the United States. While the court duly considers that both parents have a vital interest in the custody and care of their child, this right is not one that is absolute, and many cases have differed on who gets custody based on a thorough investigation of both parents or guardians. Custody rights in Georgia reflect this.
Under the Equal Protection Clause, if both parents are of the same status and equally able to care for the child independently, then they can possibly be co-custodians of their child, with both taking equal responsibility. However, this legal allowance becomes secondary in the face of realistic and logistical difficulties based on where the child lives, goes to school, and settles.
How to Determine a Father’s Custody Rights in Georgia:
The first step is determining if a father can obtain legal rights for ownership and custody of the child is if the father legally establishes paternity, which is possible if he or his representative proves that:
- He had married the mother of the child and is now pursuing a divorce along with custody of the child or children.
- He has been married to the mother of the child during her pregnancy, but had divorced before the birth of the child, and is now seeking custody.
- If the child is born out of wedlock, the father can legally pursue ownership and hence custody of that child, which remains up to investigation and court decisions. The biological relationship between the two is sometimes proven through genetic testing, and can also lead to the father being under the obligation to pay child support to the mother of the child.
Usually, proving one of these three is not difficult. Any divorce proceedings between partners are likely to uphold the father’s legal rights to the child.
Under the laws of the State of Georgia, it is illegal to give a gender preference to the selection of which parent to grant custody rights to. The law actually states that this decision and all others related to it are to be made in the “best interests of the child”, which for either parent depends on the following factors:
- The careers and well as job timings and schedules that ensure financial stability
- The residence of the parent in comparison to the current residence of the child in terms of living arrangements
- The parent’s capacity and willingness to provide for the mental and emotional needs of the child
- The parent’s involvement in daily life activities and interests of the child
- The child’s relationship and level of attachment with the parent in question
- The parent’s physical and mental health
Based upon these, the court reaches a final custody determination that can be of the following types:
- Sole custody: One parent is granted complete custody of the child.
- Joint custody: The child splits time equally between both parents.
- Legal custody: Both parents retain their right to have a say in legal decisions about the child.
- Physical custody: Either or one of the parents retains the right to live with or visit the child.
In the case of the parent who seeks custody, there remain other solutions for a father’s custody rights in Georgia. Because remaining a part of your child’s life is so essential, the team at Cheap Uncontested Divorces protects your legal rights to achieve custody and also seek assistance in child support and visitation, among other interests; All in a manner that is acceptable to both parents. Contact us today for a free consultation with experienced lawyers.