Georgia Child Custody FAQs

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If you’re pursuing child custody in Georgia, it’s important to partner with an attorney who can fight for the best possible outcome. Discover the answers to the below Custody FAQs, then contact Mickey Kicklighter today:

What is the difference between physical and legal custody?

Physical custody refers to the parent who the child lives with for the majority of the time. Physical custody can be sole or joint. Joint physical custody means that both parents have custody of the child, and the amount of time each parent is legally allowed to have is ordered by the court or determined in mediation.

Legal custody allows one parent to be deemed the decision maker on topics such as health, religion, and education. However, legal custody can also be sole or joint. If joint legal custody is awarded to both parents, there is one parent who is assigned the primary custodial role. The custodial role gives this parent the final say in decisions in the event that an agreement cannot be reached.

What factors contribute to “the best interest of the child”?

In Georgia, a judge determines the “best interest of the child” by considering many factors. If you’re contemplating a divorce and know your spouse will want custody of your child, it’s important to know that the judge will consider elements such as:

  • Basic ability to provide for the child
  • Child’s relationship to siblings within the home
  • Home environment
  • Physical, emotional, & mental health/stability of the parents
  • Prior history of any form of abuse or criminal activity
  • Prior parent involvement in the child’s life

Can child custody orders be modified?

Yes, child custody orders can be modified but two elements must be present. First, your attorney must prove that a substantial change has occurred since the original child custody orders were finalized. For example, a planned move by the custodial parent or a request by the child to change custodial parents (if the child is of age) are considered substantial changes. Second, the modification must reflect the child’s best interests.

If you have questions about these child custody FAQs, don’t hesitate to contact Kicklighter Law.

How Child Support is Calculated in Georgia

Child support can be a difficult and confusing challenge to face after a divorce. The calculations for the amount each parent is responsible to pay can be complex, and it’s important you have an experienced, knowledgeable family law attorney to guide you through each step.

How are Payments Calculated?

In Georgia, the court considers multiple factors in determining child support payments including the number of children and income of each parent. Income calculations include

  • Salary
  • Bonuses
  • Lottery winnings
  • Pensions or retirement accounts
  • Unemployment benefits

The Georgia Child Support Commission provides a child support calculator to determine payments. Be sure to consult an experienced family law attorney, like the team at Kicklighter Law, for help calculating accurate child support payments.

Can I Modify My Payments?

Sometimes, calculated payments can be modified if you experience a change in life circumstances. However, it’s important to note that every case is different. You may qualify for a child support payment modification if you experience:

  • Involuntary job loss
  • Sudden change in income
  • Change in marital status

Just because you experience one of the listed major life events doesn’t necessarily mean you will be granted a child support modification. If you think you need a child support payment modification, contact the expert family law attorneys at Kicklighter Law.

Call Our Experienced Family Law Attorneys at 912-754-6003

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Springfield, GA 31329

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