Are you about to divorce but suffering from serious medical issues, and worried your condition could cost you child custody? As the official website of the State of Georgia warns, Georgia’s child custody laws are quite intricate. When serious medical issues are involved, the situation becomes even more complicated.
Before filing your child custody petition, you should consult a Georgia family law attorney. They will analyze the specifics of your case, explain your options, and help you identify the best strategy to convince the court that you deserve custody.
When deciding who should have child custody, the court will try to make sure that the decision is in the best interest of the child. In order to do so, they will consider several factors. Getting to know these factors may help you assess your situation, so we will review them in the following lines.
Factors Georgia Courts Takes into Account in Child Custody Cases
When reviewing a parent’s child custody petition, the court considers the following aspects:
- The stipulations of Georgia Code Title 19, Chapter 9 – Child Custody Proceedings
- The parents’ ability to provide for the child (financial situation, income, employment, etc.)
- The child’s age, gender, medical history, and needs in terms of parenting
- The parents’ vocation and habits (dangerous hobbies, excessive smoking, drinking, etc.)
- The child’s preference when they are old enough to have a saying, usually after 10-12 years of age
- The relationship between the child and the parents
- The parents’ wishes
- The parents’ willingness to support the relationship of the child with the other parent
- The impact each custody decision would have on the child (whether the child would need to move to a new home, school, city, etc.)
- Accusations brought to either of the parents
- The parents’ physical and mental health
Otherwise put, in order to obtain child custody, you need to show the court that your physical and mental health will not prevent you from providing for your child, spending time with them, and offering them the stable home they need and deserve.
How Can You Convince the Court to Give You Child Custody Given Your Medical Issues?
The answer will obviously depend on the specifics of those issues. A Georgia family law attorney will be able to provide the answer you need upon reviewing your medical file and asking you a few questions. Until you consult a lawyer, here are a few ideas on how to prove to the court that you should receive child custody:
- Obtaining a doctor’s letter to prove that your medical issues, if treated correspondingly, will not prevent you from living a normal life and looking after your children
- Obtaining an employer’s characterization or recommendation, to show that you are a responsible employee and you will have no problem keeping a job and supporting yourself and your children
- Providing financial records or proof of income, properties, etc. to show that you have the means to support your children and cover your treatment
- Showing that, if you receive custody, the changes to the child’s life will be fewer and easier to adjust to, as compared to a situation where the other parent gets custody
- Bringing witnesses to testify to your involvement in the child’s upbringing and education, to prove that you are responsible, reliable, and a positive example for your child
- Creating a parenting plan to show that you are aware of your responsibilities and obligations and you can live up to them
- Obtaining your relatives’ support to show that your child will grow up surrounded by people who love them and are willing to support you when things get tough
- Quoting similar precedent cases that ended with the verdict you are after.
Unfortunately, these strategies seem easier to apply than they really are, and not all parents have the time and energy to follow through with them, especially when suffering from serious medical issues. If you really want child custody, you need to identify the best strategies for your particular case and obtain help with the divorce and child custody proceedings.
At the Law Firm of Caryn S. Fennell, we have helped hundreds of people with divorce and child custody proceedings, and we can help you too. Contact us today to benefit from the advice and representation of an experienced and dedicated Georgia family law attorney who understands what you are going through and will have your best interests at heart.