Child Custody Lawyer Lawrenceville
Aggressive and diligent representation in the child custody process
Since 1995, Stepp Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law has been helping clients navigate the child custody process in Georgia. Our compassionate and formidable attorneys have helped individuals advocate for viable custody options in Lawrenceville and throughout Gwinnet and Walton counties. When you divorce, Stepp Law knows that your child needs your attorney’s support. We advocate for your and your child’s best interests.
Acting in the best interests of children
It has been a long time since moms were automatically granted sole custody of children. Today courts throughout the country understand that in most cases a child needs to maintain regular contact (sometimes called visitation) with both parents. As your advocates, we push for custody arrangements that you are comfortable with and are shaped in the best interest of your child. Under Georgia law, a court makes the final decision granting child custody. This cannot be changed unless there is a significant change in family circumstances, such as moving out of the area. Keep in mind that child custody is separate from child support agreements.
Creating a parenting plan
As of January 2008, Georgia requires all parents going through a divorce to have a parenting plan. Every plan must include details about the following topics, in addition to several other matters:
- Legal custody of the child: This includes the responsibility for day-to-day and emergency decisions regarding school, religion, after-school activities and emergent medical issues.
- Physical custody of the child: This is where the child primarily spends time, and may be split between parents.
- Sole custody: In this case, one parent has custody and the other parent has visitation rights approved by a judge. The sole-custody parent has legal custody — and legal authority — of the child and makes all decisions.
- Joint custody: With joint custody, parents share the child’s legal and physical custody. All major decisions are made by both parents and they roughly share parenting time 50/50.
- Parenting time / visitation: This delineates how the child divides time between the parents. Whether a parent has sole or joint custody, it is in a child’s best interest for parents to establish and follow clear routines.
- Access to information about the child: This includes school records, medical records and other personal information.
- The child’s schedule: Where the child will spend each day during the school year, holidays, vacations, etc. This may include delineating who transports the child to extra-curricular activities, religious events, tutoring, etc.
- Transportation arrangements and exchange locations: Especially when parents live in different towns, it is important to have clear arrangements for how a child travels between parents.
- Agreements on contacting children: By what means, and how often a parent may contact a child when in the other parent’s care.
- How to solve disagreements: As your child grows, new issues arise. You or your ex may need to modify the original custody agreement and parenting plan. It is important for you and your ex-spouse to decide how you plan to manage changes and disagreements over time.
Seek guidance from Stepp Law to make sure your and your child’s best interests are safeguarded in a parenting plan.
More than just the schedule
Preparing a child to go from one household to two can be a challenge. Situations change as your child grows and you will probably modify arrangements over time. Although in some cases this can be done without court involvement, having an attorney to advocate for you and your child allows you to separate the legal from the emotional and get on with your life.
Contact Lawrenceville child custody attorney for a free initial consultation
At Stepp Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law we guide divorcing parents in Lawrenceville and throughout Gwinnett County as they negotiate – or litigate - important custody decisions. To make a confidential appointment, call 678-987-8490 or contact us online today. We have extensive experience creating and amending parenting plans and can help you establish stability and continuity for your child.