An increasing number of fathers today are taking on the role of stay-at-home parents while more mothers are becoming the primary earners in their families. When custody issues are involved, stay-at-home fathers can find themselves facing a number of obstacles. The following reviews some of the important steps that stay-at-home fathers can take to make sure that they maintain close relationships with their children.
Georgia’s Best Interest of the Child Standard
In accordance with Georgia law, both parents are equal when child custody arrangements are determined. Like many other states, Georgia considers the best interests of the child standard when making custody decisions. Despite this, many stay at home fathers report increased difficulty in demonstrating that a decision is in the best interest of a child.
The Two Types of Custody in Georgia
It is important to understand that the state of Georgia recognizes two types of custody — legal and physical. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions concerning a child. When joint legal custody is awarded, both parents have equal rights to make these types of decisions. In joint legal custody arrangements, however, one parent has final decision making powers concerning a child’s educational, medical, and religious choices.
The other type of custody arrangement acknowledged in Georgia is physical custody, which refers to the parent with whom the child lives. Joint custody refers to when both parents share an equal amount of time and interaction with the child. In deciding how to award custody, courts can order joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or sometimes both.
No matter the type of relationship that you seek with a child, it is important to facilitate a relationship between both parents. This often means including the other parent in activities that occur at the child’s school and not diminishing the other parent’s role so that the child can grow up with the benefit of being exposed to both parents.
Advice for Fathers Seeking Increased Parental Rights
If you are a stay-at-home father who is seeking increased parental rights over your children, it is important to follow some pieces of advice to increase your chances of obtaining the results that you want. For one, it is a better idea to help your child maintain relationships with both parents. Some of the other important pieces of advice that you should make sure to follow include:
- Discover ways to make it easier for the other parent to see the child. If the other parent has a schedule that changes constantly, it might be a good idea to have a flexible schedule that allows for visitation.
- It is critical to understand that acting kindly can go a long way in creating a positive impression in a child’s life. This includes acting thoughtfully and forgiving to your former spouse as well as in a court of law if decisions are made that you do not feel are in your best interest.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
There are a number of challenges that can arise while attempting to obtain custody. The best way to respond in these situations is to obtain the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. today to schedule an initial free case evaluation.