Child Custody Agreements in Georgia - Religion and 'Legal' Custody

As one of the most, if not precisely the most, important pieces of a Georgia divorce proceeding, the child custody agreement typically lays out the time each parent will have with the child(ren) on a weekly basis as well as how holidays and vacations will be spent. Specifically, this is considered the 'physical custody' portion of a child custody agreement.

But, in addition to physical custody, legal custody must also be considered when creating a Georgia child custody agreement. Issues related to legal custody include a child's education, healthcare, discipline and, more and more often, religious upbringing.

Aspects related to religion may include not only what holidays are spent with which parent, but can require that a child be raised according to a specific religion (for example, Muslim or Christian), denomination (such as Protestant or Catholic), duration of religious teaching (from Sunday school through high school) and who pays for specific religious celebrations (such as a First Communion or Bar Mitzvah).

Another example of an issue related to religion that can be addressed in a custody agreement is whether or not a prohibition against speaking negatively of an ex-spouse's religion or otherwise leading children to believe that one religion is better than the other, in the case of parents who practice different faiths, is necessary.

Addressing Religion in Your Child Custody Agreement

Predicting the future may be one of the most difficult aspects of a child custody agreement. While one parent may know exactly the path he or she would like the children to travel, the other parent may be less sure or may be certain that the path should lead in an entirely different direction.

Spelling out the details of legal custody may be time-consuming and may be difficult, but it also may stave off arguments over the same in the future. But, when a modification of an existing child custody order is needed, your Georgia child custody attorney can help you understand the legal process involved.

Some parents may choose to leave the details related to legal custody open, requiring each to come back to the negotiation table as issues arise. Depending on the ability of parents to work together after divorce, this may or may not be an option for your family. If it is not, it's important to discuss the details of child custody with your attorney and lay out specifics in the initial custody agreement.

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