Gwinnett County Child Custody Attorney

Aggressively Fighting for Your Child's Best Interest and to Meet Your Legal Goals

Child custody is the most important issue in a divorce or breakup. Your children are the innocent bystanders as your relationship falls apart. They need and deserve a peaceful and stable life following the separation of their parents. At Daniels & Taylor, P.C., our custody attorneys focus on your rights and the best interests of your children, serving clients in Lawrenceville and beyond.

Do I Need a Child Custody Attorney?

Child custody is an essential legal matter that requires proper representation. It is highly recommended to consult with a custody attorney to make sure your rights are adequately represented. While it is possible for individuals to negotiate custody matters without the assistance of an attorney, child custody attorneys can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the complex family laws associated with custody agreements. 

Having experienced legal counsel during custody negotiations can also act as support during emotionally difficult proceedings. Considering this, we recommend consulting with a custody attorney from Daniels & Taylor, P.C., when dealing with child custody matters.

Call Daniels & Taylor, P.C. today at (770) 285-1673 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our child custody lawyers in Gwinnett County, Georgia!

The Importance of a Favorable Child Custody Arrangement

Time flies, and you don't want to miss those special moments in your child's life. You need to be there to see your baby's first steps, to teach them to ride a bike, to take them to soccer or karate, or to hold them when they get their heart broken. You want to help your child with homework, limit their time on the internet, and go to bed at night knowing they are safe. You will have more joy and less stress when you have primary custody and control.

You can contest child custody by filing for a divorce or a change of custody. The court may also modify child custody in a Juvenile Court action. Custody is always decided by a judge rather than by a jury. The state strongly favors giving children an opportunity for frequent visitation with both parents when it is in the child's best interests.

Who Can File For Custody in Georgia?

In Georgia, various individuals may file for custody of a child. These may include:

  • Parents: Both biological parents have equal rights to seek custody of their child unless one parent has been deemed unfit by the court.
  • Grandparents: Grandparents can file for custody if they can prove that the child's welfare is in danger or if both parents are deemed unfit.
  • Stepparents: Stepparents may file for custody if they have been the child's primary caregiver and the biological parent is no longer involved in the child's life.
  • Other relatives or individuals: Any relatives or individuals with a legitimate interest in the child's welfare may also file for custody if they can prove that the child's welfare is in danger.

It's essential to note that the court will always consider the child's best interests in determining custody, and any person filing for custody must be prepared to demonstrate their ability to provide a stable and safe home for the children. 

Types of Child Custody in Georgia

In the state of Georgia, there are two types of child custody - physical and legal custody:

  • Physical custody is when a parent physically lives with the child. Physical custody can be shared by both parents and this is referred to as "joint custody."
  • When a parent has legal custody, they are in charge of making all major decisions for the child. These include medical, legal, educational, and religious decisions. A judge can award joint legal custody and this would mean both parents have a say in these decisions.

How is Child Custody Determined in Georgia?

If you and your partner cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the matter will be taken to court. Judges are given broad discretion in making their decision. Hiring a child custody attorney in Gwinnett County with experience with how each judge weighs these factors is essential.

Per O.C.G.A. Section 19-9-3, judges may consider many factors such as:

  • Your child's love, affection, bonding, and emotional ties with you and their siblings
  • Your love, affection, and ability to guide and educate your child
  • Your familiarity and capacity to provide for your child's needs, taking child support into account
  • Your involvement in your child’s educational, social, and extracurricular activities
  • Your employment schedule
  • Whether you wish to maintain continuity in your child's life in a safe and stable environment
  • The stability of support systems in the community
  • Each parent's mental and physical health
  • Any special needs your child may have
  • Recommendations by a court-appointed custody evaluator or guardian ad litem 
  • History of substance abuse, child abuse, or criminal history by either parent

Legal custody gives you the rights and duties to decide health care, education, religion, and overall welfare matters. 

Physical custody establishes where your children will live and set the parenting schedule. 

At Daniels & Taylor, P.C., our team can help you secure legal and physical custody of your child or children.

What Makes a Parent Unfit in Georgia? 

In a custody case, a parent may be deemed unfit if they exhibit behavior that risks the child's safety, health, or well-being. Some factors that may lead to a parent being considered unfit include:

  • Abuse or Neglect: A parent who has a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect towards the child is likely to be deemed unfit.
  • Substance abuse: If a parent has a substance abuse problem that affects their ability to care for the child, they may be considered unfit.
  • Mental health issues: If a parent has untreated mental health issues that affect their ability to care for the child, they may be deemed unfit.
  • Criminal behavior: A parent with a criminal record, especially for crimes related to violence or child abuse, may be deemed unfit.
  • Abandonment: If a parent has abandoned the child or has shown little interest in the child's welfare, they may be deemed unfit.

It's important to note that these factors alone do not automatically make a parent unfit. The court will consider all the case circumstances and the child's best interests when deciding.

Understanding Visitation Rights in Georgia

When it comes to child custody arrangements, visitation rights are an important aspect to consider. Whether you are a custodial or non-custodial parent, understanding your rights and responsibilities regarding visitation is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship with your child.

Our experienced Lawrenceville child custody attorneys at Daniels & Taylor, P.C. can provide guidance and legal representation to help you navigate visitation rights in Georgia. We can assist you in creating a visitation schedule that works for both you and your child, and advocate for your rights in court if necessary.

Some key points to know about visitation rights in Georgia include:

  • The importance of a consistent visitation schedule for the well-being of the child
  • The factors that may impact visitation rights, such as the child's age and the parents' work schedules
  • The legal procedures for modifying visitation arrangements if necessary
  • The potential consequences for violating a visitation order

Can a Father Take a Child Away From the Mother in Georgia?

In Georgia, neither parent needs legal permission to take the child somewhere. Married parents have equal rights as custodians of their children. However, if one parent takes the child out of state or out of the country, there may be grounds for a kidnapping case.

A parent can be prosecuted for parental kidnapping if they take their child from the other parent without legal custody or a court order. According to Georgia code § 16-5-45, kidnapping is considered "interference with custody." 

Child Custody Mediation vs. Litigation

Your children should not be in a custody dispute between you and your spouse. Your separation is traumatic enough without your kids witnessing you both waging war. We encourage you to find a middle ground and negotiate or mediate your disputes. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a child custody arrangement, we will not shy away from courtroom litigation.

Put negotiation or mediation gives you control over the decisions. Having a judge decide the matter is akin to relinquishing control of a very important decision. In either case, you must have an experienced Gwinnett County child custody lawyer to advise and present your case.

Contact Daniels & Taylor, P.C. today to schedule a consultation with one of our child custody attorneys in Gwinnett County!


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WHy Choose Daniels & Taylor, P.c?

  • Professional & Trustworthy Clients are always our number one priority. We treat every client with the utmost respect and professionalism throughout every aspect of their case.
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  • Established in 1994 Our firm has been serving clients in Gwinnett County for over 25 years. Lawrenceville is our town!