Children naturally make divorce more complicated. In addition to dealing with the usual struggles of alimony and property division, you must now consider where your children will reside, and how you’ll cover necessary expenses.
Child custody & child support in Columbus can be two of the most emotional aspects of divorce; parents desperately want what they think is best for their children. Struggling to resolve these issues? Seek assistance from trusted Columbus family law attorney Mandi McDonough.
Types of Custody
Georgia awards both physical and legal custody. Legal custody refers to decision-making power, while physical custody designates where affected children reside. Parents may also be granted joint custody (in which they share time or decision-making abilities) or sole custody (in which one parent has the final say). Many parents are legal custodians but not physical custodians. Thus, a Georgia parent could hold joint legal custody, but lack physical custody.
Factors That Determine Custody
Georgia courts rely on a variety of factors to determine the best custody outcome. The state grants no automatic preference for mother or father. Primary considerations include:
- Emotional ties between the parent and child
- Emotional ties between the child and his or her siblings or step-siblings
- Each parent’s ability to provide food, clothing and other material goods
- Each parent’s physical and mental health
- Evidence of physical/sexual/mental abuse or criminal history by either parent
- Evidence of drug abuse
Custody cases differ somewhat when teenagers are involved. In Georgia, children aged 14 or older enjoy greater say over physical custody.
Many parents prefer to resolve custody issues via mediation. Frequently, Georgia parents work together to arrive at creative solutions that benefit their children. When court proves necessary, lawyers must consider both the need for aggressive representation, and how a protracted courtroom battle might impact the children of divorce.
How Child Support Is Calculated in GA
Georgia once determined child support based on the non-earning parent’s income. Now, however, local courts take several factors into account, including income for both parents, bonuses, capital gains, and unemployment. The number of children also plays a significant role. In some situations, medical expenses may also factor in to child support requirements.
As you deal with the complications of custody and child support, turn to a Columbus family law attorney you can trust. Mandi McDonough will assist you through every phase of this ordeal. Reach out today to learn more about her legal background and her commitment to the best interests of both you and your children.