In Georgia, courts make child custody decisions based on the best interests of the child and they take several factors into consideration.
The court will decide whether both parents or only one will have legal custody of the child, which means that they have the right to make major decisions for the child about education, healthcare and religion. It will also decide which parent the child will live with or if the child will share time with both parents. This is called physical custody.
In deciding the best interests of the child, the court will review the child’s age and needs, each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment, the child’s relationship with each parent and whether there has been history of domestic violence or substance abuse in the home, among other factors.
If one parent does not comply with the child custody agreement, the other parent has options to address it. It’s important to keep a record of the dates and times of violations, as well as texts, emails, voicemails or letters that can be presented to the court.
The parent can file a motion with the court to find the other parent in contempt of the custody order, which can result in fines, jail time and other penalties.
It may also be necessary to request changes to the child custody order if the other parent has substantially and continuously violated the order. The court may find that it is in the child’s best interest to change its initial legal and physical custody decision.