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Child Custody

Georgia Child Custody Lawyers Serve Richmond, Burke and Columbia Counties

Dedicated Augusta firm works to establish a healthy environment for youths

As parents divorce, their first priority should be the well-being of their sons and daughters. Though disputes over financial arrangements might be heated, everyone benefits when legal and physical custody issues are handled in a mature, thoughtful fashion. Since 1988, the attorneys of Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm, in Augusta, have guided divorcing parents through tough situations relating to residence, visitation and decision-making authority. We take the time to learn about the specific needs of your children and use our family law experience to create parenting plans that safeguard their well-being. When appropriate custody terms cannot be worked out through mutual agreement, we prepare exhaustively to make the strongest possible argument in court.

Proven attorneys outline factors used by Georgia courts in custody disputes

The Georgia Code states that neither mothers nor fathers are favored under the law when it comes to legal and physical custody arrangements. Judges can consider any circumstance when deciding what is in the young person’s best interests. Our experienced family law attorneys will outline the factors named within state law that might affect the outcome of your custody matter, such as:

  • Parenting fitness and relationships — A divorce is disruptive enough for a son or daughter. To ease the burden, courts evaluate the “love, affection and bonding” between the child and each parent when assessing where the young person should reside. A parent’s fitness to handle the tasks associated with everyday parenting is also assessed. This can include a review of work obligations, time availability and who has been the primary caretaker.
  • Health — A physical ailment, mental illness or substance abuse problem could make it impossible for someone to rear their child properly.
  • Preference of children 14 and older — Once a youth reaches 14 years of age, the law gives them the ability to choose which parent they want to live with. While the child’s preference is highly influential, a judge can overrule it if he or she does not believe living in that home is in the child’s best interests.

Before you determine how to proceed, we’ll give you a free consultation and go over these factors as well as related issues that divorcing parents face, such as child support payments and the establishment of detailed visitation guidelines.

Skillful advocates advise on visitation along with sole and joint custody

Legal custody relates to the authority parents have over key matters within a child’s life, such as medical, religious and educational choices. This is often granted jointly so that each parent has a say in their son or daughter’s well-being. Sole physical custody exists when the child primarily lives in one parent’s home. In these situations, the noncustodial parent usually has well-defined visitation rights. Joint physical custody can be granted as well if the parents live close enough so that the child spends substantial time in each home.

Through litigators handle relocation matters and other modification requests

Custody orders are issued based on the circumstances that exist at the time. However, a job change, new marriage or family medical situation could compel a custodial parent to move away with their child. If the noncustodial parent fails to consent, the disagreement can quickly become heated. Our firm represents parents who seek to relocate as well as those who oppose moves. We’ll look at the existing parenting plan, the reason behind the relocation and the potential effects on the child or children and counsel you on the available options and how a court might rule. In these cases and other modification requests, we’ll make sure that your interests and the child’s are clearly presented to the judge.

Contact an accomplished Georgia child custody lawyer for a free consultation

Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm represents Georgians in child custody matters and other types of family law proceedings. Our firm is located in Augusta and serves Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties. Please call 706-496-1616 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Office Location
  • Augusta Office
    3540 Wheeler Road, Unit 402
    Augusta, Georgia 30909
    Phone: 706-496-1616
    Fax: 706-722-4817