Child Custody Disputes Lawyer Providing Gwinnett County Clients With Compassionate Legal Counsel

custody documentsIn Georgia, we have terms, under the law, such as Joint Legal Custody, Sole Custody, Primary Physical Custody, and Shared Custody. I could write a few hundred words on each to explain, but you wouldn’t remember and I would probably confuse you in the process. Suffice it to say that with the help of Harold D. Holcombe P.C., you will be in the best hands possible as you navigate this confusing process of disputing child custody.

Typical Child Custody Cases

So, let’s talk about the 99% of typical child custody cases. In a normal situation, both parties will have joint legal custody. This simply means that both parties have legal access to medical and educational records, and that you and your ex-partner will discuss the needs of the child and make decisions regarding the health and well-being of that child. In most cases, if you don’t agree, the primary physical custodian will have the final say on that decision. There are four major custodial areas of decision making: education, medical, extracurricular, and religion. The parties can divide these, or the primary custodian can have final say in all four areas.

Physical custody is the area where most disputes arise. One party must be the primary physical custodian. This means that the other party normally pays child support. Litigating these issues can be quite complicated. That’s why, in most situations, an experienced lawyer can be extremely valuable in helping you develop a cost-effective strategy that will meet your goals.

Legitimation Of A Child

Many people have never heard of this term. Legitimation is the process of making the child of an unwed mother legal. There are no longer “illegitimate” children in the State of Georgia. The term “illegitimate” is not used in the Code of Georgia. Several years ago, the entire code of the State of Georgia was changed. The term “illegitimate” was changed to “child of unwed mother.” Many felt the term illegitimate was degrading so it was removed from the code. But we still have the term legitimation.

Simply put, by legitimating a child, the father gives the child the right to inherit from him and establishes himself as the legal father. As the legal father, the father can then assert visitation or custodial rights. These are commonly called access rights. The father can give the child his last name. But only the father must assert these rights. The mother cannot legitimate the child. The action, generally, must be in the county where the mother resides.

The father files the action in the county where the mother resides. Generally speaking, unless the father has lost his “opportunity interest,” the law favors legitimation. The opportunity interest is lost if the father ignores the child for years before filing his case. So, generally speaking, the case should be filed as soon as possible after the child’s birth to avoid this defense. The issues in a legitimation case can be complicated by the father’s decision to seek visitation or custodial rights. Child support is almost always an issue, too.

A Family Lawyer By Your Side

Custody cases are unique, as the scenarios in each case can be differ completely. No two cases are alike. Details are critical. Under Georgia law, the standards in a custody case can vary from party to party; the facts can determine the outcome; and the evidence presented will determine who, in the end, gets custody. You have heard the term “custody battle.” Well, from our perspective, a custody case, is more like the war, and there are battles within that war. You may lose a battle but win the war.

Managing a custody case requires patience and fortitude. A good client listens to the good lawyer who then can obtain a good result. The winning custody case is a team effort between the client who works hard and the lawyer who works even harder. By knowing the judges, understanding their experiences, and trying multiple cases, a family lawyer can assess your case correctly and avoid missteps during the difficult process. The best custody case will be presented by the lawyer who is detailed, professional, and manages the case efficiently.

Any time children are involved, complications can intensify. Harold D. Holcombe P.C. is here to help you and your family achieve the best possible outcome. Contact our Snellville office today at (678) 344-0116 to speak to a highly regarded Gwinnett County attorney who can provide you with the excellent child custody disputes legal counsel that you deserve.