When parents are divorced, separated, or never were married, they often look to the Georgia court system to establish orders for their child, including custody, visitation, and child support. When parties cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the court will determine the appropriate custody order on its own, based on the evidence presented by the parties. While a custody order sometimes provides for one parent having sole custody and the other parent having visitation rights, joint custody is another option that is often beneficial to children.
In a joint custody arrangement, parents share legal and physical custody of the child. In this situation, the parents work together to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, including educational, religious, and medical issues. This requires an amicable relationship between parents and an ability to cooperate and work together to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. Parents in this situation also generally arrive at a more flexible parenting plan that recognizes the child’s need and desire to spend relatively equal amounts of time with both parents. While not all parents have this kind of relationship, those who do will greatly enhance their child’s life.
Research over the years has proven that a joint custody arrangement is the best solution for a child whose parents are divorced or otherwise separated. One study found that children who spent significant amounts of time with each parent were generally better adjusted, had fewer behavioral and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, had better family relationships, and did better in school than those children who primarily interacted with only one of their parents.
A joint custody situation also has benefits for the child’s parents. Parents in these relationships tend to get along better, they have fewer conflicts and arguments, and they each get a break from the stresses of parenting on a regular basis.
As beneficial as it sounds for children, the reality in many cases is that unless both parents can agree on a true joint custody arrangement, obtaining a true joint custody arrangement is often as much of a fight as trying to win outright custody.
No matter what kind of custody arrangement is best for your child, you will need a strong advocate on your side who knows how to achieve your objectives. Working with an experienced Atlanta child custody attorney will make all the difference in your child custody case. Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.