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Primary Custody

What is Primary Custody?

What is Primary Custody?

Primary physical custody simply means that the child will reside with that parent the majority of the time - at least 50.1%. That said, the exact percentage of time spent with the child varies greatly from case to case based upon numerous factors. The other parent (also called the non-custodial parent or the secondary physical custodian), has the remaining amount of time with the child.

How to get primary custody?

To be awarded primary custody, you must either convenience your spouse or a judge that you getting primary custody would be in the best interest of your child.

What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Custody in Georgia?

Primary Custodian

  • This phrase refers to the parent that is with the child the majority of the time.

Secondary Custodian

  • This is the parent that has the child less than 50% of the time.  This parent is often also called the non-custodian parent.

Benefits of Primary Custody

The primary benefit of primary custody is that a child has one place where they spend the majority of their time.  Many believe that this provides for better emotional stability for a child.  

The biggest support in favor of this approach is to simply ask yourself how much would you like to move back and forth between homes every other week?  

Practice Pointer

In most cases, custody determinations turn on minor details.  Therefore, it is important to have an attorney help you decide what information should be presented to the court and how to get it into evidence under Georgia law.

Can you change primary custody after an initial determination of custody?

The simple answer is YES.  A custody determination can be revisited by a court for as long as the child remains a minor.

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