Many people may assume that mothers are always more likely to get child custody than fathers, but this is not the case. Legally, a father is equally entitled to custody. There are a few factors a Georgia judge may take into account when considering a child custody case.
The father should bring any documentation that shows his level of involvement with the child. This might include child support payments and visitation payments. If the parents are not married and the father is trying to get custody, he may need to prove paternity. Fathers should dress professionally for court appearances and observe courtroom etiquette. This includes avoiding outbursts during court proceedings.
A court will also consider the wishes of the other parent as well as, in some cases, the child’s wishes. The standard the court uses in determining who gets custody is the best interests of the child. A father who wishes to get custody may need to provide reasoning as to why it is in the child’s best interests that custody is not shared.
One reason it may appear that court are more sympathetic to mothers in awarding child custody is that a court may be more likely to award custody to the child’s main caregiver. This is a role that is more likely to be fulfilled by the mother. Fathers may want to discuss strategies for demonstrating their role in the child’s life with an attorney. This could include documentation showing they take the child to medical appointments, attend school meetings, and do similar activities. Courts are generally predisposed to create a custody and visitation plan that gives the child time with both parents. They are unlikely to prevent a parent from having access to the child unless it endangers the child’s safety.