If you are considering divorcing your spouse, you may be thinking about splitting your assets, putting your house on the market, researching lawyers and considering what will happen to your children.

Those wanting out of their marital obligations are often worried about what will happen to their children. The quickest and simplest way to decide child custody is through a custody agreement.

What goes into a custody agreement?

A custody agreement is possible for ex-spouses or soon-to-be ex-spouses that can come to a mutual decision. You and your ex-spouse would sit down with an attorney or mediator and write out a custodial agreement together.

Often, this kind of arrangement does not work. Most divorcing couples have animosity or resentment towards each other. Or, the couple simply cannot agree—they are divorcing after all. When a custody agreement cannot be decided through a mediator, it’s time to get legal counsel and head to court.

How will the court decide?

The court will ask you and your ex-partner questions regarding parenting practices, schedules and more. The judge will be considering your child’s, health, safety and comfort throughout the proceeding. Ultimately the judge will make a decision based on the child’s best interest.

How is a child’s best interest determined?

There are many factors a Georgia judge will take into consideration. Generally, the judge will decide based on these factors:

  • The safety of the home
  • The parent-child relationship
  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child
  • The parents’ willingness to make a stable home
  • The parents’ ability to financially take care of the child

Additionally, in Georgia, parents are required to have a parenting plan when speaking to the court. The plan must include and agreement from both parents that they must have an amicable relationship for the child’s well-being.

It must also state how the parents plan to coordinate holidays and make decisions for their child. Georgia law advocates for the child’s well-being and best interests.