Child custody is not always straightforward. The two main distinctions are legal and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make significant decisions in the child’s life such as education and health care. Physical custody is when the child is physically with you, and you must care for them in a stable home environment. “Stable” is the operative word here.
In Georgia, the court considers several factors before awarding physical custody, one of which is stability. Thus, it is rare that the court will award 50/50 joint physical custody as that would mean the child will be constantly moving from parent to parent. The child must have a primary residence, and ideally that would be your home.
Avoid these mistakes when fighting for child custody
One of the hardest consequences you must face when going through a divorce is that even the family will separate. As a parent, you want what is best for your child, and you want your child to be with you as much as possible. If you are going through a child custody battle, you should avoid these mistakes:
- Fighting with the other parent in front of your children
- Physical or verbal confrontation with your ex or your children
- Introducing your children to new partners
- Speaking ill about your ex to other people, especially your children
- Neglecting parental responsibilities
- Altering the schedule or routine of your children
- Denying your children contact with the other parent
- Refusing to cooperate with the other parent
If the court finds that you are mentally or emotionally unstable and therefore incapable as a parent because, then they can give the other parent sole physical custody. You may lose more time and rights as a parent.
The goal of child custody
In any child custody proceeding, the main goal is that the children can maintain their previous lifestyle without too many drastic changes. If you and your ex can work together to make this happen, you may be able to find a way to avoid battling it out in court by maintaining joint physical and legal custody. You can even workout a mutually beneficial parenting plan. However, if the other parent is not as agreeable, then try to always take the high road. Focus on your children and what is best for them.