Custody and visitation rights in Georgia are determined by the Court considering the best interests of the children. Georgia requires a Parenting Plan in every case where minor children are involved which describes the legal custody and visitation terms with each parent. The parties (or the Court if a settlement is not reached) decide which parent will have final decision-making authority in four areas: education, non-emergency medical, religion and extra-curricular activities.
Joint legal custody means that the parties must share information and consult with each other on major decisions about their children. Joint physical custody is approximately equal shared time by the parents with the children. In some instances, the circumstances may favor one parent having primary legal and/or physical custody of the children with the other parent having visitation. All aspects of custody are covered in the Parenting Plan such as place and manner of visitation exchanges, access to school and medical records, and the manner in which disagreements about the children are discussed and resolved. Parenting Plans are a very detailed documents that require careful attention to all aspects of custody and visitation.