Barrow County Child Custody Attorneys
Helping Families Move Forward in Walton, Gwinnett, Oconee, Clarke, Hall, and Banks Counties
Children are the light of our lives, and, as a parent, you will do everything you can to protect them. Determining who your children will live with is consequently often one of the most contentious debates in any divorce. In some cases, parents will cause trouble for each other and their children as they seek to prevail in a custody battle. Should talks break down and things get nasty, the unfortunate reality is you may need experienced legal representation to secure the best outcome for your kids.
Any disagreements involving your children’s custodial arrangements will inevitably become emotionally charged. At the Mitchell & Crunk Law Firm, we understand you are likely experiencing an unimaginable level of stress of uncertainty as you navigate your divorce. Our Barrow County child custody lawyers are committed to advocating for your family’s best interests and will fight to deliver a favorable result. We can also assist you with modifying existing child custody arrangements if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
Contact us online or call (678) 701-6252 to learn more about how we can help you successfully navigate your custody battle. Payment plans and same-day appointments are available.
A divorce settlement in Georgia will determine physical custody and legal custody. A child will live with the parent who has physical custody. In some cases, a parent will have sole physical custody, while in others, both parties may “share” custody in a joint physical custody arrangement.
When someone has legal custody of a child, they can make decisions on that child’s behalf. A parent with legal custody gets a say in religious, educational, financial, legal, and medical decisions involving the child. Georgia courts will often attempt to grant legal custody to both parents.
One parent will typically become the “primary custodial parent” even if both parents share physical and legal custody. The primary custodial parent will generally be the one that spends more time with the child, and they will have final decision-making authority in a disagreement.
How Child Custody Is Decided in Georgia
A Georgia judge will consider what is in the child’s best interests when deciding child custody arrangements. Each parent will also be expected to submit a “parenting plan” that proposes their preferred custodial arrangement and explains how they will meet their child’s needs.
In determining what is in the best interests of the child, a Georgia judge will consider:
- The preference of the child if they are at least 11 years old
- The health and stability of each parent
- The financial circumstances of each parent, particularly their ability to provide for the child
- Each parent’s relationship to the child
- Each parent’s understanding of their child’s unique needs
- Each parent’s level of involvement in the child’s education
- The presence of and the relationship between the child and any siblings, stepsiblings, or half-siblings who live with either parent
- The perceived willingness of each parent to support a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any history of criminal misconduct, domestic violence, neglect, or substance abuse that has adversely impacted the child’s well-being or could impact it in the future
With so much at stake, custody battles can quickly get ugly. Your former spouse or their legal representatives may say cruel things if it allows them to advance their position. Our Barrow County child custody attorneys can guide you through this emotional turbulence and provide the advocacy you need to stay focused on your plans and goals for your children.
Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement in Georgia
Child custody orders do not have a set expiration date and will in most cases remain in place until the applicable child or children turn 18. There are circumstances, however, where you can successfully modify an existing child custody order. However, you cannot modify an existing arrangement just because you feel the judge made the wrong decision.
To request a modification to a child custody arrangement, you will need to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This will involve showing sufficient evidence to the court that the circumstances have changed so much that it has become necessary to change custody from one spouse to the other. You will also need to convince the court that the proposed change is in the best interests of the child.
Examples of substantial changes in circumstances include:
- The custodial parent becomes seriously ill or injured and is therefore unable to adequately care for the child
- The custodial parent suffers serious financial losses and is consequently unable to provide for the child’s essential needs
- The custodial parent intends to move an unreasonable distance away from the noncustodial parent
- The custodial parent develops a serious substance abuse problem or begins to abuse or neglect the child
Our team at the Mitchell & Crunk Law Firm understands that the safety and well-being of your child or children come first. Our Barrow County child custody lawyers can efficiently review your situation and advise whether new developments may enable a change to your current arrangement. We are prepared to request an emergency hearing with short notice if you fear your ex-spouse is no longer capable of adequately caring for your child or children.
Schedule a free initial consultation to explore whether you may be able to modify your existing child custody order. Call (678) 701-6252 or contact us online to get started.
If you have found our website, chances are you and your family are going through a difficult moment. Our team welcomes the opportunity to assist you and is determined to make a positive difference in your life. When you come to us for help, our Barrow property division lawyers will listen to your concerns, identify the legal issues involved in your case, explain the law to you, and provide the effective legal counsel you need to succeed. Our track record speaks for itself, and we encourage you to review our testimonials to learn more about what our clients think of our family law services.
Call (678) 701-6252 or contact us online to discuss your case with us. Payment plans and same-day appointments are available.
“Couldn't have been happier!”
“Mitchell and Crunk was very diligent throughout my whole process. And I couldn't have asked for a better outcome in my case.”
“He genuinely cared about my case first and myself as a client. He was so thorough with the case and actually listened to me and cared. He is also very descriptive and helps you really understand your case with such an honest tone.”
“I met Matthew Crunk and he was just amazing. He listened to me, was very understanding of my situation and very thorough on explaining everything to me.”
“The environment was welcoming and the staff was very polite. Misty was more than happy to help me and provide me with answers to all of my questions during our consultation.”