"Litigation of child custody is the single most important thing I do."
Custody of your children is the sole most important issue in a domestic relations case because the judge hearing your case has almost unfettered discretion. Most custody cases cannot be appealed.
Tamela Adkins is an expert in custody cases. Since 1993, she has tried hundreds of custody cases before judges and helped thousands of clients determine a mutually satisfactory custody plan that works for both parents.
Georgia courts require three legal issues to be determined in custody cases:
Legal custody is, more often than not, joint between both parents. This means that each parent may have access to medical records, educational records, and is entitled to know important events in the child’s life. Joint legal custody also requires a good faith discussion between the parents before certain actions are taken on behalf of your children.
Final Decision Making:
Georgia courts require one parent to be the “tie-breaker” on issues of education, medical, religion and extracurricular activity. There are important long-term consequences to who has the final say, such as your ex moving out of state with your children.
This is granted to the parent a child physically lives with for the majority of the time.
FACTORS A JUDGE USES IN DETERMINING CUSTODY:
Q: Can I obtain custody of my grandchild, niece or nephew?
A: Yes. In certain circumstances close relatives such as grandparents, aunts and uncles may seek custody.
Q: Can I obtain custody of my step child?
A: Yes. On July 1, 2019, Georgia became one of the growing number of states that allow for an “emotional caregiver” to seek custody. The standard to seek custody under this new law is high and there are strict legal guidelines and complicated legal procedures.
Q: Can I obtain custody of my significant other’s child after we break up?
A: On July 1, 2019, Georgia became one of the growing number of states that allow for an “emotional caregiver” to seek custody. The standard to seek custody under this new law is high and there are strict legal guidelines and complicated legal procedures.
Q: What is parental alienation?
A: Parental alienation is a psychological diagnosis that involves one parent, either consciously or subconsciously, sabotaging a child’s relationship with the other parent. Studies show that long term damage usually results if parental alienation is present in divorcing parents.
Q: What is a child advocate or guardian ad litem?
A: A guardian ad litem (GAL) is an attorney appointed solely to represent the children in a contested custody lawsuit. The GAL will make a written report to the court and will testify at any trial.