Child Custody & Visitation
There is nothing more important than protecting your relationship and rights with respect to your Children. Child custody refers to the legal guardianship of children involved in a divorce case and tends to be the most difficult area of family law. When parents divorce or separate and they can’t agree on what is in their child’s best interest, the courts will intervene, often turning an uncontested divorce into a contested one. The knowledge and skill of an experienced attorney is vital in resolving these matters. Bill’s goal is to help you fight for what’s in your child’s best interest. In Georgia and most other states, there are two forms of custody, legal and physical. Legal custody involves issues relating to the child’s lifestyle, such as religious, medical, and educational decisions, which are made by the legal custodian(s). Legal custody can be given to one or both parents. Physical custody refers to where the child lives. One parent may have sole physical custody, and the other may have visitation rights or, both parents could have physical custody and the child would split their time between the parents equally. If a parent has visitation rights, the visits between parent and child occur on a schedule provided by the court and is typically convenient for both parents.
When a child custody case is brought to the court, the court will try to determine and establish the best interest of the child and choose the environment that offers the most stability. Some factors that will be taken into consideration in a child custody case are:
- The child’s age, sex, mental and physical health
- The parent’s mental and physical health
- The parent’s lifestyle
- Any history of child abuse
- The emotional bond between the parent and child
- The parent’s ability to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and medical care
- The child’s regular routine
- The quality of the child’s education
- The child’s preference, if the child is above a certain age
- The ability and willingness of the parent to encourage communication and contact between the child and the other parent
The Court may also conduct a Child Custody Evaluation, which could consist of interviews, psychological exams, and analysis of the children, and perhaps the parents and may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to conduct an investigation.
Bill knows how contentious child custody cases can be and he also knows that the best solution is usually one that is agreed upon by all members of the family. By providing you with the most current legal knowledge along with his vast family law experience, Bill will help temper the difficulty that is part of this incredibly emotional decision making process for you and your family. Contact us as soon as possible. Bill represents clients throughout the entire Atlanta area including the communities of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Decatur, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Lawrenceville, Cumming, Forsyth County, Smyrna, Alpharetta, Douglasville, Lithonia, Tucker and Snellville. Please click on the bio of William R. Lester here to learn more about his practice or click here to read some client testimonials. Please also feel free to utilize our family law resource links.