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How to get full custody of a child in georgia
How Can a Father Get Full Custody of Their Child in Georgia? - Lawrenceville, GA
Crystal Wright | December 17, 2021 | Child Custody
Child custody laws are changing. When parents disagreed over a custody arrangement in the past, the law favored the mother. It was assumed that a mother was the primary caretaker and better fit to care for the child’s well-being.
This is no longer the case. Child custody laws have increasingly moved toward viewing both parents as equally important to the child’s well-being and equally capable of caring for a child.
Fathers Have Equal Rights
In the state of Georgia, neither parent is given custody preference based on gender alone.
Instead, a variety of factors go into a judge’s decision when making a custody ruling. After considering all of the evidence presented, a judge will rule in favor of the parent who can provide the best living situation for the child.
One caveat to this equality is the difference between married and unmarried fathers. If a father was married to the child’s mother when the child was born, the father automatically has equal shared custody.
If the father was never married to the child’s mother, the mother has full custody, and the father has no automatic rights to custody or even visitation. However, he does have the right to petition the court for these.
The father must establish “legitimation” in order to ask the court for custody rights. Legitimation requires more than proving paternity, which merely gives a court power to enforce a father’s duty to pay child support. Legitimation gives a child the right to inherit from their father, among other things, and provides the father with the right to request child custody or visitation from the court.
However, it should be noted that a father’s custody rights are not automatic even if they establish legitimation. It is up to the court.
Tipping the Scales
Sometimes, circumstances result in a situation in which the child’s interests would best be served by being placed into the father’s full custody.
To achieve this, the father must prove to the judge that, with sole custody, he would better care for, support, and protect the child in a manner superior to sharing custody with the mother.
This type of ruling is one a judge may be hesitant to make because a judge’s role is to uphold the law as closely as possible. When the law indicates that parents should work to co-parent and equally share responsibility for the child, as Georgia law does, a judge may be reluctant to favor one parent over the other.
Your Child’s Best Interest
It’s important to remember that the law and a judge aim for the child’s best interest in all rulings. A court will make decisions on custody, visitation, and other matters according to the best interests of your child. All parents should also have their child’s well-being at heart.
Therefore, the best way to seek full custody is to provide a two-pronged argument: First, that the father is better able to provide for the child, and second, to prove the mother is unfit for even partial custody.
Unless a father can demonstrate to a judge that sole or shared custody is in their child’s best interest, they will not obtain custody rights. However, there are many possible ways this argument may be made.
In most situations, a father who is serious about pursuing full custody would need the aid of a family law attorney to help build the case and submit documentation to prove the mother should not have custody.
If you find yourself in a situation in which it is truly not in the best interest of your child to share partial custody with the mother, it may be possible to build a case to demonstrate that the mother is unfit.
The state of Georgia in particular has a low percentage of fathers with full custody. If full custody is your goal, it’s essential to procure the aid of a family law attorney to build a strong case for the best interests of your child.
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page. You can also visit our law firm at 368 W Pike St STE 201, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.
Free, easy to understand legal information and resources
The following information is from the brochure, "Child Custody in Georgia: How a court decides a custody case," prepared by Georgia Legal Services Program, June, 2007.
Custody In Georgia
Married Parents. Both parents have equal rights to custody of a child born during a marriage. What if the mother and father are separated and one wants sole custody? That parent must go to court and get legal custody. The court awards custody to the parent it decides can best raise the child.
Unmarried Parents. The mother of a child born out of wedlock has all rights to custody of the child. Signing the birth certificate does not give the biological father the right to take the child. To get custody or any rights to visit, the father must first prove he is the father. To do so, he must file a court case or fill out an Administrative Legitimation Form with the State Vital Records office. An unwed biological father commits a crime if he just takes a child. The crime is called Interference with Custody. Talk to your district attorney’s office about filing charges if this occurs.
Grandparents or Other Third Parties. Grandparents can ask the court for visitation rights. They first must prove “special circumstances.”
Department of Family and Children Services. The Department of Family and Children Services can ask the court for custody if DFCS believes the child is deprived. The county must prove that the parents are unfit and the evidence must be clear and convincing. A Juvenile Court hears these cases. A low-income parent has the right to a free lawyer in Juvenile Court. If you cannot afford a lawyer, ask for a lawyer in writing. Give your request to the clerk of Juvenile Court. Do this as soon as you know about your case.
What The Court Looks At To Decide Custody
In most cases, the court looks at the best interest of the child to decide which parent should get custody. Which parent cared for the child in the past? Which parent can best care for the child in the future?
You need to take evidence with you to court that shows you can best care for your child. This is especially important if you do not have a lawyer.
Here are some items to consider. Who watches the child? Who feeds the child? Who gets her dressed and takes her to school? Who takes her to the doctor and gives her medicine? Who bathes him? Who takes care of him when he is sick? Who cleans? Who plays with the child and helps with homework? Who has contacts with the school? Who spends time elsewhere? Who drinks or does drugs? Does the other parent have a criminal record? Is either parent living with another person? You need witnesses who can show that the child is better off with you. Family members, neighbors, teachers, friends, church contacts, police or caseworkers may be good witnesses. School, medical, police or county DFCS records also may help prove you would be the better parent. You should get copies of any records that will help you.
How Family Violence Affects Custody
The court needs to know if there has been any violence in your home. A judge must make the safety of the child and the abused parent the primary focus of the custody decision and must consider violence against the parent when deciding custody. Watching violence against the parent can harm a child as much as abuse of the child.
The parent who raises the child is entitled to child support from the other parent. To get a copy of the financial forms the court needs to decide child support, go to http://services.georgia.gov/dhr/cspp/do/public /SupportCalc.
Kinds of Custody
Courts often give custody to one parent. The other parent usually gets visiting rights. The courts also can give joint custody. This means that both parents have the right to make decisions for the child.
Joint custody often results in lower or no child support. It also means that both parents must agree on decisions for their child. Joint custody will not work for you or your child if you and the other parent cannot agree. Think carefully about joint custody and talk to your lawyer.
Other Custody Laws
A child who is 14 years old or older may choose which parent to live with. The court will accept the child’s choice unless the judge decides that it is not in the child’s best interest to be with that parent. A parent who is illegally keeping a child cannot be given custody.
Changing a Custody Order
What can you do if you don’t win custody? Remember that you can ask the court to change a custody order. You must show that the situation has changed and that now you can best raise the child.
Other Helpful Brochures
Brochures on child support, public benefits, domestic violence and other topics are also available through your local Georgia Legal Services office.
How to get custody of a child, elderly or disabled?
What is guardianship?
In Russia, citizens who need guardianship include minors, that is, children under 14, as well as persons recognized by the court as incompetent. We are talking about people who, due to a mental disorder, cannot understand the meaning of their actions or control them. This is stated by the Federal Law "On guardianship and guardianship". Based on the document, citizens appointed by the body of guardianship and guardianship "are the legal representatives of the wards, and perform on their behalf and in their interests all legally significant actions."
Guardianship is aimed at protecting the interests of the listed categories of citizens, as well as the very possibility of declaring a citizen incompetent in a judicial proceeding. This was also emphasized by the Constitutional Court in the framework of Resolution No. 15-P dated June 27, 2012 “On the case of checking the constitutionality of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 29, paragraph 2 of Article 31 and Article 32 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation in connection with the complaint of citizen I.B. Business".
How is guardianship different from guardianship?
In addition to guardianship, there is also guardianship, under which adolescents aged 14 to 18, as well as persons with limited legal capacity, can fall. Such people cannot be fully responsible for their actions. This category has more rights than minors and the incapacitated. For example, they can independently perform small everyday transactions and actions provided for by law (dispose of their own income, etc.). However, in other cases, they are obliged to assist the trustee.
It turns out that the guardian has more rights and obligations than the guardian, and therefore a greater responsibility falls on him.
Who can become a guardian or custodian?
The main requirement for the candidate is full legal capacity. And since it comes from the age of 18, the guardian must be of age. The law also establishes a list of restrictions. Guardianship cannot be issued by persons:
deprived of parental rights;
having an unexpunged or outstanding conviction for an intentional crime against life or health;
who did not agree to become a guardian.
When it comes to guardianship of young children (under 14), additional restrictions are set. Future guardians must undergo special psychological, pedagogical and legal training, as well as prove that they are in a bisexual marriage. Those who have registered a same-sex marriage in the territory of another state will not be able to arrange guardianship.
Arranging child custody
This process is supervised by guardianship authorities. To find out all the details of the procedure, you must contact the district office. The state is interested in ensuring that children are not left unattended, are not placed in orphanages and boarding schools, and therefore, most likely, those who wish to arrange guardianship will be met halfway and will be helped in every possible way.
The candidate needs to write an application, collect documents confirming, among other things, the passage of special training, and in case of a positive answer, sign an agreement.
How can I get guardianship of an elderly incapacitated person?
The algorithm is the same as for children - the guardianship and guardianship authority will also deal with the issue of guardianship. However, there are also differences. Thus, custody of an elderly or adult person does not always involve the joint residence of the guardian and his ward. This issue is decided individually, but cohabitation, of course, is welcome. It is much easier for a guardian to fulfill his duties and provide supervision, especially when it comes to a pensioner who, most likely, has a sufficient number of health problems.
If cohabitation is intended, the consent of all members of the guardian's family living with him in the same dwelling, including children aged 10 years, must be obtained.
How to get paid guardianship?
There are two types of guardianship:
free of charge;
In the first case, nothing is paid to the guardian. Paid guardianship can have quite flexible conditions, which are fixed by the contract. In accordance with Article 16 of the Federal Law “On Custody and Custody”, remuneration can also be paid at the expense of third parties, from the income from the property of the ward (no more than 5% and only if he is already an adult), as well as from the budget .
Features of the legal status
The guardian has an unlimited range of powers - he represents the interests of the ward in any relationship, no matter what is discussed. Moreover, this rule applies even when registering custody of a minor with living parents. If the ward is a child, then the guardian acts as a father or mother. However, in some cases notification of guardianship authorities is required. They can also establish restrictions on the actions of the guardian or, conversely, oblige him to perform any actions. All this is recorded in the act on the appointment of a guardian or custodian, or in an agreement on the implementation of guardianship or guardianship.
What documents are required for registration of guardianship?
Written statement of consent to the establishment of guardianship.
Documents of the guardian: proof of identity, proof of income, no criminal record, state of health (medical report in the form established for persons wishing to obtain guardianship), marital status and the right to use the living quarters.
Consent of family members of the future guardian, including children under 10 years old (provided they live with the guardian in the same territory) to live together with the ward.
Documents of the ward: identification, income, from the place of study or work, medical certificates.
Documents confirming kinship, if the candidate is a relative.
A complete list can be found on the State Services portal, which contains clarifications on the design and number of copies of documents. You can apply for guardianship there.
How often are post-custodial checks carried out?
First month of guardianship - 1 check.
First year of guardianship - 4 checks (every 3 months).
Then - once every 6 months.
Image source: pixabay.com
Experts assessed what Georgia's policy will be like under the new president
Salome Zurabishvili won the second round of the presidential elections in Georgia. For the first time in the country's history, a woman will take the presidency. Zurabishvili, who was born and raised in France, adheres to the policy of European integration, but at the same time recognizes the need for dialogue with Moscow. What will Georgia's policy be like under the new president, says Gazeta.Ru.
This week Georgia held presidential elections that will go down in history. These were the last direct presidential elections, starting from the next presidential term, the head of state will be elected by the parliament. But this is not the only reason to consider the elections held as historic.
Salome Zurabishvili became the first woman president in Georgia.
She won 59.52% of the vote, while her opponent Grigol Vashadze - 40.48%. In the second round, the turnout at the polling stations was 56.23%.
“I will be the president of everyone. Everyone will be able to contact me with their questions - public or political. I will be the president who will create a sense of peace and stability in the country. No one will hear insults or intolerance from me. I will treat everyone with respect,” Zurabishvili said on the air of the Imedi TV channel after the end of the voting, even before the official announcement of the results.
The opponent of the new president of Georgia in the second round was a former ally of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili. The former Soviet diplomat Vashadze represented his party, the United National Movement, in the elections.
The election race was tense, full of scandals and intrigues. The results of the first round came as a surprise to the ruling Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia party, which not only supported the independent candidate Zurabishvili, but also actively participated in the campaign. According to the results of the first round, the woman managed to overtake the opponent with a small margin - only 0.9%. At the same time, Georgian Dream, which is in power, has been winning quite confidently since 2012.
The third-placed candidate from the opposition European Georgia Party, who took the third place in the first round, expressed his support for Grigol Vashadze, which, by the way, they had agreed on in advance. Thus, his votes could go to the opponent of the candidate in power, which would allow Vashadze to gain a significant advantage. However, this support did not affect the final result of the elections.
Vashadze did not admit defeat. According to him, the gap of more than 15% of the votes is “drawn”, and the elections themselves are a “criminal farce”.
The opposition does not recognize the election results, Vashadze promised, adding that he "does not have a president."
Ex-president of the country Mikheil Saakashvili had a similar reaction - he called on Georgians to take part in protests demanding early parliamentary elections.
“We are going into mass disobedience. I call on the Georgian police, the army to distance themselves from the criminal mafia gang, I call on you to take the salvation of Georgia into your own hands,” he said. His dissatisfaction with the election results is not surprising.
Vashadze repeatedly stressed that Saakashvili should be able to return to Georgia.
Moreover, Grigol's wife, the famous prima ballerina Nino Ananiashvili, became the godmother of Mikheil Saakashvili's son in 2006, so almost family ties are connected with the former president Vashadze.
Salome Zurabishvili, in turn, repeatedly criticized the ex-president, including for the 2008 war. With her assuming office, Georgian Dream activists can breathe out without worrying about the return of the ex-president to his homeland.
For the sake of Zurabishvili's victory, Georgian Dream was not shy about populist decisions either. The authorities decided to write off the debts of more than 600 thousand citizens who were on the "black list". Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced this 9 days before the second round. The opposition regarded this move as bribing voters and accused Mechta of interfering in the elections.
In addition, after almost equal results in the first round, the government changed the draft state budget for 2019year. The new version will take into account the increase in salaries for the military, border guards and police, an increase in benefits for large families, and an increase in pensions. But this is not all: the poor were promised not to be deprived of benefits for a year after they get a job.
No time to be friends with Moscow
The main argument against Zurabishvili for her opponents was the candidate's statements about the 2008 military events. Then, according to Zurabishvili, Georgia made a mistake, allegedly responding to "Russian provocations."
“Georgia bombed its population in 2008, which no president has the right to do,” she said during a talk show, which caused a flurry of criticism.
A week before the second round, opposition European Georgia candidate David Bakradze reminded voters about Zurabishvili's book The Tragedy of Georgia 2003-2008. The fact is that quotes from this book were used by the Russian side in the International Court of Justice to win the lawsuit of Tbilisi against Moscow in connection with the 2008 war, proving that Georgia was preparing for military operations in advance.
Zurabishvili's political opponents took advantage of this, saying that her statements and position are "dangerous for Georgia." In turn, the presidential candidate replied that her opponents, "like Russia, use phrases taken out of context. "
In fact, Zurabishvili's attitude towards Russia is not as unambiguous as her political opponents tried to show it to be.
It is too early to talk about the prospects for the development of relations between Russia and Georgia. Moscow stated that they followed the course of the elections, however, they did not give premature assessments.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, said that he does not expect fundamental changes in bilateral relations with Georgia. “But given that Salome Zurabishvili is an experienced and pragmatic politician, I would like to hope that the space for dialogue will at least not be reduced,” he said.
According to Georgy Kanashvili, executive director of the Caucasian House NGO, political scientist, the elected president is characterized as a person with "character." “Of course, it is not necessary to talk about her independence, but it is quite possible that she will be no less disobedient than the previous president,” the expert says.
He also does not rule out that the policy of the new president may be set up for dialogue with Russia. “If the international situation contributes to this, and of course you should not rush into this,” the expert notes.
Zurabishvili herself, in an interview with the BBC Russian Service, has already stated that now is not the right time for rapprochement with Moscow.
“I don’t think that as long as Russia is behaving the way it is now, given what is happening on the occupation line, where people are being kidnapped, and this line is moving deep into our territory, getting closer to Tbilisi… considering how Russia is now behaving towards Ukraine, I don’t think that all this means that we can move on to cooperation right now, ”she said.
According to her, Georgia adheres to a pro-European point of view. If Europe and the US start a dialogue with Russia, then Georgia will not stand aside.
“So far, we are not going for an active rapprochement with Georgia, but I think this figure is positive in general. I do not expect any outrageous statements and unfriendly attacks against the Russian Federation from her, ”says Nikolai Topornin, Associate Professor of the Department of European Law at MGIMO, Director of the Center for European Information.
At the same time, it should be taken into account that the president's powers have been significantly reduced after the parliament approved a new constitution a year ago, which finally made Georgia a parliamentary republic. The President has the right to make decisions regarding the award of citizenship, the appointment of a referendum, and also use a veto. All other issues require agreement with Parliament.
“Basically, she will deal with protocol events and take part in conferences where you just need to represent Georgia. All major decisions are made by the ruling party,” the expert sums up.
Forward, to the European future
In matters of foreign policy, Zurabishvili considers the republic's full integration into the European Union and NATO a priority. The new president was born in France and managed to build a fairly successful diplomatic career there.
Perhaps this fact can play a positive role in Georgia's path to the European Union: it will be easier for Zurabishvili to find mutual understanding with France, because the French will communicate with a person brought up in their culture. However, as Nikolai Topornin notes, the issue of EU accession is not a matter of good relations between the leaders of the EU countries and the candidate country.
“This is a more objective process. For entry, it is necessary to comply with the legislation, compliance with economic standards and criteria. The EU sees that there is no need for haste: it is not so easy to integrate countries that are not yet ready to adapt to the criteria,” the expert says.
In addition, it is worth remembering that the EU accession process is not a matter of tomorrow for Tbilisi.
“Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova have partnership and association agreements, but they are not currently official candidates for EU accession. So far, they have not even been accepted into the so-called candidate status, which most of the republics of the former Yugoslavia have, which can only join the EU in the 25th or even 30th years. No matter how good the president’s relationship with the French leadership is, this will not speed up the accession process,” Topornin notes.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where Zurabishvili served for 30 years, has already congratulated her on her victory in the presidential election.
"The new president will be able to count on us to resolutely continue to act in the interests of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Zurabishvili herself has already announced that she will make her first foreign visit "to Europe, in particular to Brussels, Berlin, Paris and the Baltic countries, in particular to Lithuania" - a country whose female president was the first to congratulate her on her election victory.
From France with love
The biography of the new president of Georgia is also interesting. Salome Zurabishvili was born in Paris to a family of political émigrés who fled the Soviet regime. Her father brought together the Georgian diaspora, becoming the chairman of the Georgian society in France. He also founded a Georgian church in the capital of France. Although the girl grew up in Europe, but thanks to the influence of her parents, she did not forget her roots.
In Paris, young Salome took part in demonstrations against the visits of the leaders of the Soviet Union, published a newspaper in Georgian with friends and translated articles by Georgian dissidents.
Zurabishvili graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Science and then studied at Columbia University in the USA. At the age of 22, she dreamed of becoming the French ambassador to Georgia, which she managed to achieve almost 30 years later, in 2003, despite the unspoken diplomatic rule, according to which the ambassador should not be associated with the country where he is appointed.
A year after Zurabishvili assumed the post of ambassador, Mikheil Saakashvili, who at that time was the president of Georgia, personally asked the head of France to release her from her post, noting that "Georgia has never had a diplomat of such a class."
Saakashvili invited Zurabishvili to take the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and gave her Georgian citizenship. However, she retained her French passport.
The main achievement of Salome Zurabishvili as head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry was an agreement with Russia on the withdrawal of its military bases from the territory of Georgia. Today she says that at the present time the negotiations would hardly have led to such a result.
“When I was negotiating the withdrawal of military bases from Georgian territory, it may have been a different Putin, because at that time Russia agreed.
I don't think this would be possible today, even if I have the same diplomatic skills. I think that now, after the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, the fact that Russia considers two occupied territories to be independent blocks any possibility of dialogue with Russia,” Zurabishvili said in an interview with the BBC Russian Service.
In 2005, Zurabishvili was removed from her post after criticizing the United National Movement party, which had a majority in parliament, and speaker Nino Burjanadze. After her resignation, the future president created and headed the opposition party "The Way of Georgia". Then she stated that the main partner of Georgia is the United States, however, the politician also spoke about the need to normalize relations with Russia.
The ex-minister led the party until 2010, when she announced her resignation. Three years later, she announced her intention to take part in the presidential elections, however, she did not receive this opportunity due to dual citizenship. This time, the ex-minister donated her French passport to register as a candidate. She speaks Georgian, but not perfectly, which more than once gave her opponents a reason for criticism. In addition to Georgian and French, Zarubishvili speaks Russian, English, Italian and German.
“Zurabishvili was formed in the conditions of France's democratic values.