Debunking Common Myths About Child Custody Laws

For parents who are in the process of going through a divorce, child custody is one of the most important considerations at play. However, it can be very difficult to find quality, trustworthy information on the subject online. Like every other state, Georgia has its own unique laws pertaining to child custody and it’s important for parents to be accurately informed. That’s where we come in. In order to help prepare our readers for matters pertaining to custody, we have taken some time to debunk a few of the more persistent myths on the subject.

Myth #1: What is a Parenting Plan?

Here in Georgia, state law requires divorcing parents to submit a parenting plan to the court in any case where custody is at issue. The purpose of a parenting plan is to outline the child’s needs, how the child’s time should be divided between the parents, and each parent’s access to the child. The Parenting Plan will set forth the details of legal and physical custody, the day to day parenting time schedule, the Summer and holiday schedule, transportation arrangements, and other details specific to your unique circumstances. The parties can agree to a Parenting Plan, or the Judge in your case will implement a parenting plan based on the testimony and evidence presented at trial.

Myth #2: Joint Custody Means There Will Be No Child Support Payments

In the case of a joint custody arrangement, both parents will typically share equal decision-making rights and parenting time. However, this doesn’t necessarily negate the possibility of child support payments. In Georgia, courts will still look to the needs of the children and both parent’s respective financial standing to determine if child support will be required.

Myth #3: Is a Custody Ruling Made by The Court Final?

Once the court has issued an order regarding custody, that order will stay intact until a child reaches the age of 18. However, under certain circumstances, custody, parenting time, and child support can be modified. It is common for changing circumstances to make it increasingly challenging to abide by the terms of the original custody order. In these cases, either parent can file a petition to modify the terms of the order as necessary to accommodate the changes. The parent who requests the modification must successfully prove that there’s been a material change in circumstances that impacts the child’s well being before a judge will grant a change to the custody order, or the parties can consent to modify the terms as they deem appropriate.

Hopefully you found this information helpful and informative. If you have any questions pertaining to child custody or any other family law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact Oxendine Law at (770) 497-8688. We are available to meet in-person, over the phone, or by video conference. Don’t forget to follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional family law tips, news, and more helpful information.