Many Georgia readers are aware of a growing trend regarding how custody cases are handled in family courts across the nation. There is a distinct move toward a system under which shared custody would be a starting point for all cases. Currently, one state is considering legislation that would require family courts to begin all child custody matters with the presumption that 50/50 shared custody is the best possible outcome.
Those in support of the bill believe that children thrive when they are able to have access to both parents. Many also believe that the current approach places fathers at a distinct disadvantage, often relegating them to occasional visitors in the lives of their children. They feel that beginning from a position of shared custody helps to level the playing field and gives both parents equal access to shared children.
Those who oppose the bill feel strongly that courts should be empowered to make all child custody determinations from a central focus on the best interests of the child. They argue that no two families are ever exactly alike, and that judges should be allowed to approach each case on its own merits. They also fear that a forced shared custody presumption could harm victims of domestic violence.
Many Georgia parents have strong feelings on this child custody matter. While the proposed legislation mentioned above is not before the Georgia legislature, it is important to understand that the laws change from time to time. Staying abreast of current trends in family law can help parents understand their options should they face their own child custody battle.
Source: woodtv.com, “Bill would revamp how child custody decided”, Evan Dean, Aug. 21, 2017