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Child Custody: Frequently Asked Questions


If you are preparing for a divorce or separation and you have children in common with your ex-spouse, you may have questions about child custody.  Consider these common questions regarding child custody as well as their answers below.

What Is “Reasonable Visitation”?

Reasonable visitation is simply a term that means exactly what it says- visitation that is reasonable under the circumstances.  If a judge believes that you and your ex-spouse may be able to co-parent reasonably, he or she may order that the noncustodial parent be awarded reasonable visitation.  This means that it’s left to the parents of the child to determine how to share custody and when.  Keep in mind that in practice, this will generally mean that the custodial parent has more power and influence over visitation than the noncustodial parent may prefer.  If you are aware that you and your ex-spouse cannot co-parent or come up with reasonable visitation, you should say so.

What Is a Fixed Visitation Schedule?

Fixed visitation is the alternative to reasonable visitation.  A judge orders times and sometimes even places where the noncustodial parent has a right to visitation.  This is more common where there is conflict between the parents, but has other advantages, too.  It limits arguing about visitation on the part of the parents and gives some stability to children who are facing an uncertain time in their lives.

My Ex Was Abusive.  What Do I Do?

If you or your children experienced abuse prior to the marriage dissolving, you can point this out to the court when the court is deciding parental visitation rights.  The court may order that visits with a spouse suspected of abuse be §supervised, meaning some other person (generally other than the custodial parent) will be responsible for supervising visits between the children and one parent.  The individual is usually someone picked by both parents, or can be someone ordered by the court.

Do My Child’s Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

Georgia is one of a handful of states that recognizes grandparents’ rights in visitation and other custodial matters.  The rights are set out in O.C.G.A § 19-7-3.  A court will consider several elements when deciding wither to grant or deny a grandparent’s request for grandparents’ rights.  The overarching principle is whether the child’s health or welfare would be harmed if the request for visitation is denied and the visitation is in the child’s best interests.  It’s important to note that grandparents’ visitation rights are not the same as custody.

What Happens If a Noncustodial Parent Fails to Exercise Their Time?

Some custodial parents may seek to modify a visitation order based upon a noncustodial parent’s failure to exercise defined parenting time.  The visitation may be decreased in accordance with the noncustodial parent’s failure to seek parenting time.

Find the Right Attorney

The most important thing you can do to prepare for a custody battle is to find the right Atlanta child custody attorney.  You can find one at The Solomon Firm LLC.  Call and make an appointment for a consultation today.

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