Peachtree City and Newnan Child Custody Attorney
Experienced representation focused on the best interests of your children
The bond between a parent and a child is sacred. Unfortunately, circumstances often arise which threaten that connection. If you are going through a divorce or separation, or if trouble in a nonmarital relationship is impeding access to your children, Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law can help. For more than 30 years, I have represented parents in custody and visitation matters, asserting their rights to maintain a loving relationship with their children and to exercise authority for their welfare. From offices in Peachtree City and Newnan, my firm tackles complex and contentious custody issues through skillful negotiation, mediation and, if necessary, in court.
Elements of a Georgia parenting plan
The following two aspects of child custody must be addressed in a Georgia parenting plan:
- Physical custody — Language on physical custody states where the child will live and sets forth a visitation schedule for the parent whose home is not the child’s primary residence.
- Legal custody — The authority to make decisions regarding the child’s health, safety and welfare is referred to as legal custody.
These two types of custody can be awarded exclusively to one parent or on a joint basis. Options the court considers include:
- Sole physical custody — The children live full time with one parent, but spend time at the noncustodial parent’s home based on the visitation schedule. Frequently, the parenting plan will call for overnight visitation to occur during weekends and school breaks.
- Joint physical custody — Though children spend substantial time in both homes, the split might not be equal due to educational needs.
- Sole legal custody — One parent holds the authority to make major decisions on the children’s upbringing.
- Joint legal custody — Parents share decision-making authority.
Each young person is unique and it is usually best when a parenting plan can be negotiated between the parties rather than imposed by a judge. Custody arrangements affect child support responsibilities and my firm takes the time to learn about your situation in order to create the healthiest possible environment for your son or daughter. I will also advise as to how potential custody arrangements would affect child support responsibilities.
How courts in Georgia determine child custody
The goal of child custody litigation is to create a parenting plan that serves the best interests of the children. Georgia law enumerates 17 factors a court must consider when ruling on custody, including:
- The existing bonds of love and affection between each parent and the child
- Bonds of affection among siblings, including half-siblings and stepsiblings
- Each parent’s capacity to act as a loving parent
- Existence of family and community support for each parent
- Each parent’s mental and physical health
- The degree to which each parent is involvement in the child’s life
- Each parent’s work schedule
- The needs of each child
- Past performance as a parent
- Each parent’s willingness to support the other parent’s continuing relationship with the children
- Any recommendation by a court appointed custody evaluator or guardian ad litem
- Any evidence implicating a parent in family violence or sexual, mental or physical child abuse or criminal acts
- Any evidence of a parent’s substance abuse
Children who are at least 14 years of age may tell the court which parent they want to live with.
As your advocate, I present facts that support the parenting plan you want and protect you from attempts to discredit you as a parent.
Post-order custody disputes and modification requests
Custody disagreements and modification requests often arise after a divorce is final. Like initial custody decisions, these matters are also decided based on the child’s best interests. I represent parents in enforcement actions and in motions seeking modifications of child support orders.
Contact an effective Georgia child custody attorney
Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law in Peachtree City and Newnan represents Georgia parents in all types of child custody matters. To schedule a consultation, call 770-796-4031 or contact my office online.