In Georgia and all other states, the role of stepparents in a child custody matter can be important. It may be that a child’s stepparent is a nurturing person who develops a strong parental role in caring for a stepchild. The relationship may be greater than what the child has with a natural parent. In one recent child custody case, however, a biological mother prevailed in a battle for custody with the child’s stepmother.
Throughout the country, including in Georgia, there are groups that are lobbying state legislatures for passage of laws that will make it mandatory for shared custody or joint custody arrangements to be ordered by the courts. In the present system of child custody, joint or shared custody arrangements are possible. The court also has wide discretion in fashioning more traditional arrangements, with one parent as the primary physical and legal guardian, and the other parent as a secondary guardian who more or less is restricted to visitation privileges and to sharing in decision-making responsibilities.
A custody case often arises during a divorce of the child's parents. The couple has separated and a divorce action filed. In Georgia and most states, the child custody issue can be listed in the divorce complaint or by answer in a counterclaim. Alternatively, a petition or other document may be separately filed, whether or not a divorce has been filed, in which one party asks for custody.
By simply reading this blog, Georgia readers are providing an example of the role of online media in our everyday lives. Technology has enabled us to communicate faster and in many different ways. However, the quality of those communications may not always be up to par with more traditional methods.
Georgia readers may have heard accounts of how different individuals left the church after the loss of a loved one or other sort of personal tragedy. However, despite the nearly 50-50 divorce odds for newly married couples, a new study suggests that the effects of divorce may still be as difficult as ever on children.