How To Protect Parental Rights In A Child Custody Case
Preparing for a child custody case in Georgia can be difficult and complicated, and it is important to do everything you can to put your best foot forward and protect your parental rights. The following are some of the steps you should consider in order to protect those parental rights as you get ready for a child custody case in Atlanta.
Understand How Courts Make Child Custody Determinations
To protect your rights as a parent and to do everything you can to ensure that you have sole or joint custody, you should understand how courts make child custody determinations. Courts in Georgia begin from the premise that parents should share in their child’s upbringing, and then courts award legal and physical custody based on what is in the best interest of the child. Neither parent has an automatic right to custody of the child and there is no presumption about what form of custody will be awarded.
Think About the “Best Interests” Factors and How They Might Apply to Your Case
You should learn about the “best interests of the child” factors that the court is likely to consider in your child custody case. Educating yourself about what is important to the court will allow you to do everything you can to show that being awarded custody is in your child’s best interest.
Focus on Your Child’s Needs
Several of the “best interests” factors focus on each parent’s existing role in their child’s life, each parent’s involvement in medical care, schooling and extracurricular activities, and other related factors. Accordingly, as you plan for your child custody case, it is important to remain present in your child’s life and to focus on your child’s needs.
Try to Cooperate with Your Ex If Possible
An Atlanta court is more likely to determine that you should have custody of your child if you can show that you have the ability to cooperate with your ex where it is possible and appropriate. One of the “best interests” factors that the court will consider is the “willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interest of the child.” By cooperating with your ex and helping your child to maintain a positive relationship with your ex, you will also be showing the court that granting you custody of your child is in your child’s best interest.
Avoid Damaging Social Media Posts
You might not realize it, but any information you post on social media can be used in a family law case in Georgia. Even if you have made your Facebook or Instagram account private, you should know that friends or family members of your ex may still be seeing your posts and may share those images or posts with your ex. In short, you should assume that anything you post on social media can be used against you. As such, it is critical to avoid potentially damaging social media posts, such as negative remarks about your ex or family or images of you engaged in unlawful behaviors.
Contact an Atlanta Child Custody Lawyer
When you are preparing for a child custody case in Georgia, it is essential to work with an experienced Atlanta child custody attorney who can advise you on a range of child custody matters and can advocate for your parental rights. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the lawyers at Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French to learn more about how we can help with your child custody case.