The determination of child custody can be very emotional and is considered by most Georgia parents as the most important decision to be made in a divorce proceeding. If circumstances change after an original custody order has been made, either party may seek a modification of the order if they feel that it is necessary.
A man is currently faced with potentially losing his custody rights with his son over a refusal to take him to McDonald's for dinner. The son is 4 years old and threw a tantrum when his father gave him the ultimatum of eating somewhere other than McDonald's or not eating dinner at all. The boy chose to not eat dinner, rather than go someplace else. Upon returning to his mother, the boy relayed his version of what happened and she contacted her attorney to have the father ruled an unfit parent. He must now defend himself against having his visitation time lowered or having his visitation rights completely taken away.
When a couple gets divorced and they have children, the living arrangement of the children must be determined by agreement or by the court. There are many arrangements that can be established for custody of the children, but the most common is for one parent to have physical custody, while the other parent has visitation rights. The parent that is granted visitation right often retains legal custody as well. Legal custody is the right to be involved in decisions concerning a child's healthcare, religion and education. In deciding what the best custody situation should be, a court must consider a variety of factors including health of the parents, abuse by either parent and the need for a stable home, among many others. Each of these factors goes into determining what is in the best interests of the children involved.
Parents that are going through a divorce will need to come to an agreement concerning the custody of their children or allow a court to make the decision for them. An experienced family law attorney can assist them with this process and educate them on their rights and responsibilities in each arrangement.
Source: Examiner, "Father facing legal trouble or loss of custody for not taking son to Mc Donald's," Beverly Mucha, Nov. 9, 2013