Georgia recognizes two types of custody – physical and legal custody. A parent with physical custody lives with the child. Parents can share physical custody (called “joint physical custody”) or one parent may have sole physical custody (also referred to as “primary physical custody”). When parents share joint physical custody in Georgia, they have roughly equal time with the child. For example, one parent may have the child for 7 days, then the next parent may have the child for the next 7 days and the rotation continues every week.
A parent with legal custody may make medical, educational, extra-curricular, and religious decisions on the child’s behalf. In many cases, a judge will award parents joint legal custody. Joint legal custody in Georgia means that both parents have a say in all major decisions involving their children.
Generally, in cases where parents share legal and physical custody, one parent will be designated the “primary custodial parent.” Generally, the parent who spends more time with the child will be designated the “custodial parent” and the other parent will be designated as the “noncustodial parent”.
Today, courts are focusing more on the wellbeing and best interests of the child, and strive to arrange shared custody in a way that encourages both parents to maintain strong relationships with the child. At Anene Farrey & Associates, LLC, we are passionate about ensuring that our clients have a presence in their children’s lives.