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If you have divorce questions

How to Win Child Custody

Understanding Custody

There is no set approach guaranteed to win child custody, but if you are looking to increase parenting time with your child or children, it is helpful to know how child custody is determined in Georgia.

The Standard

Georgia law considers each parent equally in a custody determination, therefore there is no favoring a mother over a father. Instead, the court is looking to determine what custody arrangement would be in the best interests of the child.


Courts prefer parents to come to an agreement on a physical custody arrangement which would be best for their child. However, if the parties cannot come to an agreement, the judge will decide.

The judge will consider a number of statutory factors including:

  • the emotional ties between parent, child, and sibling(s);
  • a parent's capacity to raise the child;
  • a parent's understanding of the child and his or her needs;
  • a parent's ability to provide for the child's needs;
  • each parent's home environment;
  • continuity in the child's life;
  • the stability of each parent's family unit and each parent's support systems;
  • the mental and physical health of each parent;
  • each parent's involvement in the child's life;
  • how each parent's employment impacts their ability to care for the child;
  • the child's history, records and/or special needs;
  • each parent's past performance of parenting responsibilities;
  • each parent's willingness and ability to encourage a relationship with the other parent;
  • any recommendations of a custody evaluator or Guardian Ad Litem (GAL);
  • any evidence of family violence or sexual, mental, or physical child abuse or criminal history of either parent; and
  • any evidence of substance abuse by either parent.


Since a judge has many cases to consider and limited time to hear evidence, courts will often appoint a GAL or custody evaluator to investigate the case and report their findings to the judge.

Contact us today if you would like to schedule a free telephone consultation to discuss child custody with one of our experienced family law attorneys.

Written by: Rebekah Ann James


Child Custody
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