At the heart of every child custody decision is the most important question: “What is in the best interest of my child?” Even so, family law attorneys need answers to other questions when helping clients resolve custody disputes. Here, a child custody lawyer at Bray & Johnson in Canton, GA, poses questions parents should expect when meeting with an attorney and explains why lawyers ask them.
Questions You Can Expect From a Child Custody Lawyer
Is Paternity Established?
Under Georgia law, both legal parents are entitled to equal treatment when determining custody of their legal children. If the parents are not married, the biological father of the children usually is not the legal father, and he must “legalize” the child(ren)’s paternity to obtain custody or visitation rights. There are several indications of “fatherhood,” including placing the father’s name on a child’s birth certificate or undergoing DNA testing, however, these indicia of fatherhood do not legalize the relationship between the child(ren) and the father; to establish legal paternity, the Father must file a Petition to Legitimate his child(ren) through the court system.
What Is the Relationship Like With the Other Parent?
If the parents have mutual respect, it may be possible to resolve custody issues without a full trial with a judge making the custody decision. Mediation sessions or negotiations between the parents’ child custody lawyers are other ways to reach parenting agreements. For example, in Cherokee County, mediation is required before the parties can proceed to a final hearing. When instances of domestic violence, drug use, or alcohol abuse have occurred, a family law attorney might recommend other alternatives.
Does a Child Custody Order or Parenting Plan Exist?
If a custody order or a parenting plan is already in place, there must be a significant reason for modifying it. Suitable reasons include a risk to a child’s welfare/safety or a long-distance move.
Bray & Johnson’s child custody lawyers offer experienced, skilled, and compassionate representation to parents faced with important decisions about their little ones’ lives. You can depend on these family law attorneys to offer wise counsel and practical guidance for your situation. The lawyers at Bray & Johnson have decades of experience in these vital matters.
When you need help with a custody dispute or parenting plan, get in touch with the custody lawyers at Bray & Johnson in Canton, GA. Call (770) 479-1426 to schedule a family attorney consultation, or contact them online for more information.