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Georgia dads spend less time with kids than dads in other states

A company that works to help parents create child custody and parenting plans reports that fathers in Georgia spend less time with their children than dads in other states.

The company's study looked at the child custody schedules for parents from state to state. Included in the analysis was an examination of judicial standards across the states and input from family law practitioners about custody arrangements they have seen.

The research took into account situations in which both parents were available to take custody. Instances of incarceration and long distance between the two parents weren't included.

The study revealed clear differences from state to state.

In Georgia, children spent just 23.5 percent of their time with fathers. That ranked No. 46 among U.S. states and only Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee ranked lower.

Fifty-fifty custody was the norm in the 20 states that tied for the top spot. Those states included Florida, Massachusetts and Missouri. According to the researchers, lawmakers in 25 states considered laws that would either make shared custody standard or at minimum encouraged it.

Overall, according to the research, the majority of fathers have less than 50 percent child custody.

Georgia law has not advanced to the point that shared physical custody is the default, but that doesn't mean that parents can't work toward that on their own to benefit their kids.

A 2017 report posted on the dadcentric website Fatherly said children who have fathers steadily involved in their lives are more likely to hold good jobs, have healthy relationships and register higher IQ scores than those with fathers who don't play a prominent role in their kids' upbringing.

If you're a father who wants to have an increased presence in your children's lives, a legal professional experienced in family law issues could help you evaluate ways to do just that.

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