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How can fathers win custody of their children in Georgia courts?

How do fathers win custody of their children in Georgia courts? The answer is you do so by following the law. In particular you need to under how the “best interest of the child” is defined under Georgia law. The best interest of a child is not just what a judge thinks it is. The term best interest of the child is actually defined under Georgia law into 17 different elements, that in total, comprise what the best interest of the child is. The text of the relevant statute can be found here: http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-19/chapter-9/article-1/19-9-3

In particular, by following the law, with no magic or tricks, but simply good and competent lawyering, and not taking for granted a term as important as “best interest of the child” (which happens far too often). This is how fathers win custody cases for their children in Atlanta metro area and Georgia child custody cases. This is true even against good mothers, even babies, even against stay at home mothers. Not being trite, or promotional, it is true and a fact, but yet so few attorneys follow the law. Let me explain how this works further.

Consider, for example what the elements of the child custody statute are, and how they can be used by a father to win custody of their children:

  • 3 of the first 4 elements of the Georgia child custody statute (which contains a total of 17) are what most would consider to be stereotypical elements that favor mothers:
    • Love, affection, bonding between parent and child
    • Capacity of each parent to give love, affection, and guide education and rearing of child
    • Knowledge and familiarity of parent to the needs of the child.

What happens in cases, particularly if the mother is a stay-at-home mother, or the child is a baby or infant, is that the mother will take the term, “best interest of the child” for granted and rely on the fact that she is a good mom, and no court will take custody of a young child from a good mom. HOWEVER, NO WHERE UNDER THE LAW IS “GOOD MOM” mentioned in the child custody statute.

You do not need to be a stay-at-home mother, or even the primary parent, to have love and affection for your child, to have the capacity and disposition to love and educate your child, nor to be familiar with the needs of your child. In fact PRIMARY PARENTS DO NOT HAVE A MONOPOLY ON THESE ELEMENTS.

Consider further that courts expect, and will DEMAND, that mothers obtain employment. They will not be allowed to stay home and have being mother as their profession. Trust me, time and time again this becomes an issue in child custody cases.

If the non-primary parent (often the father) can demonstrate that he is capable in these first 3 elements, and basically produce a tie (or close enough anyways), then you can contest a child custody case on the other 14 elements, and these remaining elements often favor the working parent, which is the father more times than not:

  • Elements such as ability to educate the child
  • Relationship between half or step-siblings
  • Ability to financially support the child and provide
  • Retaining continuity in the child’s life
  • Ability to maintain stability in the child’s life
  • Ability and willingness to co-parent….and multiple other elements.

What you often find, and how we have won so many cases like this, child custody cases that seems unlikely that fathers can or will win, is by employing this exact strategy. By trying the case pursuant to the elements in O.C.G.A. 19-9-3 and not taking for granted what the term “best interest of the child” means.

This is a technique, following the law, that we came upon by chance long ago. It works so well because so many other attorneys take for granted what the “best interest of the children” means under the law. There is power in knowing and following the law, and this is an example of that. Call it father’s rights, or whatever you want to, but it is simply being a good and competent attorney.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.