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What fathers need to know about custody during divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Family Law

Misinformation about divorce proceedings is very widespread, and it can influence the outcome of divorce or custody matters.

People sometimes make concessions during negotiations or mistakes during the legal process due to misinformation that put them at a marked disadvantage. Fathers in Georgia are among those who often fail to understand and properly assert their rights during divorce. What do Georgia fathers need to know about their child custody rights during a divorce?

Georgia has sex-neutral custody laws

Many men have heard the popular claim that the family courts prioritize the mother over the father in a custody case. Despite how frequently people repeat that claim, it does not have a basis in case law for state statutes. Fathers who seek to assert their parental rights often find that the courts are supportive of their efforts.

Fathers can request shared custody. The courts typically act under the assumption that a father’s active involvement is in the best interests of his children. Unless the mother can present compelling evidence that the father could put the children at risk of harm, he could secure liberal amounts of parenting time and a say in any major decisions related to the children.

However, there are some factors that could diminish a man’s chances of success when pursuing fully shared custody. If there has been a history of domestic abuse, that might affect how the courts handle the situation. Certain types of criminal convictions could also affect custody determinations. Someone with a violent criminal record or a history of drug convictions might find themselves at a disadvantage during custody proceedings.

Still, even then, someone with the right strategy and legal representation can overcome those hurdles in many cases. A father who can demonstrate that he has never harmed or neglected his children or that he has undergone treatment to address his issues might be able to secure shared custody despite the allegations made against him.

One of the easiest ways for a man to lose his parental rights is to fail to assert them during Georgia divorce proceedings. Asking for custody is the first step toward being an involved father after the end of a marriage in Georgia.