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No. Georgia courts do not favor mothers over fathers when it comes to determining child custody decisions because in the eyes of the law, all parents are considered equal. The courts do not presume that a child must live with their father or mother. The decision will always be based on what the judge considers is in the child’s best interest, based on evidence related to the child custody case.
What Really Matters in Georgia Child Custody Cases
Put simply, the primary goal of all child custody cases is for the judge to determine which parent is the most capable of providing love, affection, care, and stability to the child. Of course, the judge would also want to make certain that the custodial parent could provide the child with life’s basic necessities, such as a home, food, clothing, and education.
It is usually in the children’s best interest to maintain close relationships with both their parents. However, if one or both parents are not fit, physically and mentally, to care for a child, the judge must assess what is in the best interest of the child before creating a child custody order. These include:
- The affection, love, and emotional connection between the child and each parent
- Each parent’s capacity to provide discipline, parental guidance, and loving support to the child
- Each parent’s capacity to provide life’s basic necessities—a home, clothing, food, and education—to the child
- Consistency and stability regarding the child’s daily routine at home and in school
- The preference or wishes of the child, depending on their age, maturity, and/or mental capacity
- Whether there’s a history of family or child violence with either parent
- Each parent’s physical and mental health, alcohol and/or drug history, and moral fitness
- Each parent’s willingness or inclination to facilitate a continuing and healthy relationship between the other parent and the child
- The age of the child and any special accommodations or needs they may have. Younger kids, for instance, may need nursing, and kids with special needs require specific care and accommodations that not all parents may be able to provide
- The relationship of the child with each parent, taking into account who was the child’s primary caretaker
- Any relationships the child has with other family members in the household, including siblings, stepparents/siblings, and/or grandparents
The judge will evaluate all the facts, factors, and the child’s family history to figure out the most practical and fairest child custody arrangement to protect and preserve the child’s wellbeing and best interests. In addition, Georgia courts can review any other relevant factors that a judge believes will impact the best interests of a child.
Seek Legal Guidance from a Reputed Forsyth County Child Custody Lawyer
While you might believe in your heart that you know what’s in the best interest of your child, it might not be aligned with the other parent’s beliefs or the determinations of the court. So before filing for child custody or trying to fight a custody battle on your own, get in touch with our Forsyth County child custody lawyer here at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland, LLP, for legal assistance. Call 770-887-1209 or contact us online to arrange your appointment.