Understanding the intricacies of child custody and visitation rights can be a challenging task for any individual.
If you’re wondering ‘what is standard visitation in Georgia?’ – know that the answer really depends on your specific circumstances and what’s best for the children. While back in the day, standard visitation might be defined by every other weekend and one night during the off weeks for the secondary custodial parent, nowadays, “standard” is a lot less standardized and more functional for each family’s unique situation.
In this post, we’ll look at different ways that custody is determined in Georgia – including how “standard” visitation is set forth.
Let’s take a look.
Parenting Plan Georgia
In the State of Georgia, a parenting plan is a requirement for any case involving child custody or visitation.
This plan outlines how the parents will share the responsibilities of upbringing and the time spent with their children. This includes parenting time or visitation schedules between the parents.
The court ensures that the plan serves the best interests of the child, including their safety, welfare, and health. It covers all aspects of a child’s life, from education and extracurricular activities to healthcare and religious upbringing.
The plan will set forth vacation and holiday schedules as well. We’ll look more at some examples of schedules later in this post.
Child Custody Schedules by Age
The age of a child plays a significant role in determining the custody schedule – this is because Georgia’s standard is the best interest of the child, and those interests will change depending on age.
For infants and toddlers, frequent and shorter visits are usually recommended to maintain a consistent relationship with both parents.
As the child grows older, overnight visits and longer durations of stay become more common.
Then, once the child is old enough to drive, the child may spend time with each parent as their own schedule and preferences allow, as they get ready for adulthood.
It’s crucial to remember that these schedules are flexible and may change as the child grows and their needs evolve.
Summer Visitation Schedule Examples
Summer visitation schedules can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of each case.
However, a typical example might include alternating weeks or months with each parent.
This arrangement allows the child to spend extended periods with both parents, which can be particularly beneficial during holiday vacations when the child is not attending school.
Usually, to provide for early enough planning, one parent will get priority pick of weeks during the summer, and must let the other parent know by February or March of that year. Then, the following year, the other parent will get priority pick.
Remember – the point is to uphold the best interest of the child, which would usually be to have a stable, planned summer with each parent.
60/40 Custody Schedule
A 60/40 custody schedule refers to an arrangement where one parent has the child for 60% of the time, and the other parent has the child for 40% of the time.
This type of schedule can offer a balanced approach, ensuring the child maintains a strong relationship with both parents.
However, it requires a high level of cooperation and communication between the parents.
Additionally, each holiday, vacation, and normal school weekdays will be planned out for the parents to follow, in case of a dispute over time spend with the child.
Joint Custody in Georgia
Joint custody is not standard in Georgia and can only happen if both parents agree.
In this arrangement, both parents share legal and physical custody of the child.
This means they have equal rights and responsibilities regarding the child’s upbringing.
While joint custody can provide the benefits of shared parenting, it demands substantial commitment and collaboration from both parents. Usually, the parents must live within a short distance of each other – or the child must be able to drive – for this to work practically.
Developmentally Appropriate Custody Schedules
Developmentally appropriate custody schedules are those that take into account the child’s age, emotional maturity, and specific needs.
For example, younger children might need more frequent transitions between homes, while teenagers might benefit from longer, more stable periods with each parent.
The goal is to minimize disruptions to the child’s routine and to support their growth and development.
Understanding standard visitation in Georgia can be complex – as there is no predefined “standard” – but with the right information and guidance, you can navigate these legal waters for your specific circumstances.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to ensure the best interests of the child are met.
If you need more personalized advice, we advise you to seek legal counsel to help you understand your options and rights.