Peachtree City and Newnan Visitation Attorney Preserves Parents’ Rights
Dedicated representation for clients who live apart from their children
Under Georgia law, parents who do not have physical custody of their child have the right to spend time with them based on a visitation schedule ordered by the court. There might also be instances where others who have a close relationship, such as grandparents and adult siblings, might be granted visitation rights as well. Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law in Peachtree City and Newnan represents Georgia clients in visitation negotiations and disputes. Drawing on more than 30 years of family law experience serving Fayette and Coweta Counties, I work diligently to secure appropriate parenting time schedules.
Visitation for parents in Georgia
Disputes over parental visitation generally arise during divorce proceedings and can re-emerge after the divorce is final. Unwed parents can also engage in visitation conflicts if legal paternity has been established. This process is sometimes referred to as for legitimation. Visitation is designed to be frequent and meaningful, to maintain strong parent-child bonds. In rare cases, a judge will decide that contact with the noncustodial parent might be contrary to the child’s best interest. Common reasons include a parent’s substance abuse problem, domestic violence or criminal activity. A judge can order the parent’s contact be restricted to supervised visits or prohibited altogether. However, courts will review a petition to have visitation restrictions lifted if the parent has shown that a risk no longer exists.
Scheduling visitation between parent and child
As part of its child custody order, a court will approve a parenting plan, which is a more detailed outline of how the parents will implement the custody order. The schedule might simply state basic rights or present a detailed, week-by-week schedule for visits. How much detail is necessary depends on a number of factors, including:
- How well the parents communicate and how inclined they are to cooperate
- The distance between the parents’ residences
- Other demands on the family schedule
Visitation schedules should be detailed enough for reliable planning, and to be enforceable when disputes arise. However, there should be room for flexibility, since people’s lives are not set in stone. I help parents create workable visitation schedules through negotiation and mediation, and litigate disputes in court whenever necessary.
Modification and enforcement of visitation orders
A parent can request a modification of the visitation order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances and a modification would be in the best interest of the child. A common reason for a request is when the custodial parent intends to far enough away to make the existing visitation terms unworkable. In such cases, the noncustodial parent might request some form of joint custody or a schedule with fewer, but longer, visits. If a custodial parent interferes with visitation, the noncustodial parent can ask the court to enforce the order. An uncooperative parent can be sanctioned for contempt of court.
Grandparent rights to visitation in Georgia
Under Georgia law, grandparents may not petition the court for visitation of children who are living with both parents. If the parents have divorced or one has died, the grandparents are allowed to seek visitation rights. The court will consider whether visitation would be in the best interest of the child, and whether a bond between the child and the grandparents exists to such an extent that denying visitation would harm the child.
Contact a Georgia family law attorney for a consultation regarding your visitation rights
Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law in Peachtree City and Newnan represents parents in matters relating to visitation and custody concerns. To make an appointment for a consultation, please call 770-796-4031 or contact my office online.