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Getting custody after a divorce or separation

When you get a divorce, one of the questions you might have is who should obtain custody of your child or children. The truth is that there are a few ways custody can be decided. One is to work out custody before your divorce and to enter into a separation agreement. Another is to negotiate an agreement before your divorce is finalized with the help of your attorneys or mediators. A third is to let the judge and court rule on a custody plan.

For the most part, parents decide on the custody arrangements on their own. If you can't decide on custody concerns before going to court, then the judge will weigh in on the case and determine the best place for your child.

The judge bases this decision on a number of factors, but the primary concern is the child's best interests. Most children would stay with their primary caregivers to reduce strain on relationships. If the child is old enough to understand the implications of choosing what he or she wants to do, then the court may allow the child to discuss his or her preference and include that as a factor in the decision.

If you and the other parent aren't married, then you may be in a slightly different position. If you are an unwed father, it can be harder to win custody over the mother, but you do have the opportunity to state your case and obtain visitation and custody rights in Georgia. If the mother isn't fit to parent the child, then you could win your case and obtain custody.

Source: FindLaw, "Deciding Who Gets Custody FAQs," accessed Sep. 27, 2016

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