Do Family Courts Favor the Mother?
There is a commonly held belief that family courts favor mothers over fathers when it comes to child custody concerns. There is, however, no basis for this belief in Georgia’s laws. In fact, the court is bound by law to predicate all child custody-related matters on the best interests of the children involved. If you have a child custody concern, it’s important to know that the judge who presides over your case will base his or her decisions solely on the unique circumstances of your case and on the best interests of your children. You are, however, well advised to defend your parental rights by working closely with an experienced Georgia child custody attorney.
Maintaining the Status Quo
Family courts understand that divorce is very hard on children, and this is why judges are more inclined to maintain the status quo in child custody cases. All things being equal, the judge in your child custody case is likely to rule in favor of the parent who has been more involved in raising your children and who has traditionally spent more time with your children. By awarding the role of primary custodial guardian (with whom the children live primarily) to this parent, the judge helps to ensure that the children don’t have to endure more change than is absolutely necessary. Since mothers traditionally fill this role, it contributes to the misconception that family courts favor mothers. If you are a father who fits this bill, however, the court will not overlook this fact.
What Constitutes the Best Interests of the Children?
Saying that the courts are motivated by the best interests of the children involved sounds good, but it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what this means. While any relevant factor can play a role in the determination of children’s best interests, the following factors are generally taken into consideration:
- How close the children are to each parent
- How close the children are to each other
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to love, guide, and educate the children
- Each parent’s knowledge of and familiarity with the children’s unique needs
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to clothe, shelter, and care for the children’ on a daily basis
- The environment in each parent’s home (taking nurturing and the children’s safety into account)
- The importance of maintaining the status quo in the given circumstances
- Each parent’s ability and desire to provide stability for the children and his or her own level of support in the community
- Each parent’s mental and physical health
- Each parent’s work schedule and related flexibility to care for the children
This list could go on but suffice to say that Georgia courts take each parent’s ability to parent (in every sense of the word) under careful advisement when making decisions related to child custody.
Discuss Your Concerns with an Experienced Cumming Child Custody Attorney
The accomplished Forsyth County child custody attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland are well-positioned and well-prepared to zealously advocate on behalf of your parental rights and in pursuit of a case resolution that works for you and your children. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 today.