Father’s Rights Attorney with offices in Roswell & Alpharetta, Georgia
Elyssa Williams is a Fulton County divorce attorney for men. She can help you with any matter related to a divorce, including child custody & support issues.
Protecting The Rights Of Fathers
The relationship between a father and his child is just as meaningful and important as a mother’s maternal connection.
A supportive, affectionate and engaged father plays a vital role in helping to shape a child’s cognitive development, emotional well-being and social skills.
Kids need their fathers.
The role of dad can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have –but now that your relationship with the child’s mother has changed, you may be worried about how that will impact your involvement in your child’s life.
You may have questions such as:
- “Will I only get to see my child every other weekend?”
- “Will I have to pay an outrageous amount of child support?”
Fathers’ Rights Attorney Elyssa Williams proudly protects men’s rights in a variety of family matters including:
- divorce and child custody proceedings
- child support
- paternity suits
If you are a father facing divorce or child custody issues, give us a call today to schedule a Free consultation.
Dads & Divorce
Georgia state law does not favor either the mother or father in determining child custody. Despite the state’s neutral position, it can be difficult for men to believe that a gender bias doesn’t exist, especially given the courts’ history of favoring women in child custody cases.
The good news is, the cultural mindset is changing and fathers are increasingly being awarded joint, even sole custody.
Attorney Williams seeks to resolve family conflicts in an amicable manner but does not hesitate to aggressively fight for you in court if your rights or the rights of your child are threatened.
Asserting Your Rights In The Parenting Plan
When there are children involved in a divorce, Georgia law requires that the father and
mother create and submit a parenting plan or agreement to the court. This can be done separately or together.
This plan serves as a road map for how you and your ex-spouse will co-parent your child after the divorce. Attorney Williams can help you develop an effective parenting plan that asserts your rights and is in the best interests of your child.
What’s In A Parenting Plan?
- custody arrangement: defines who has primary physical custody of the child
- a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
- visitation schedule for birthdays, holidays, school breaks
- guidelines for transportation arrangements
- allocate decision making responsibilities for such things as education, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and religious upbringing
- instructions on how to resolve disagreements that may arise
If you and your spouse can agree on all matters outlined in the Parenting Plan, then all the court has to do is approve the plan. If you cannot reach agreement, the decisions regarding your child, including custody and visitation, will be made by a trial judge.
Fighting For Fair Custody
Family courts in Georgia base its custody decision on the “best interests of the child” standard. When a child’s best interests are served by spending time with his or her father, we work tirelessly to preserve that relationship.
The court may opt to award either joint or sole custody.
- In sole custody, the court will likely approve visitation rights to the non-custodial parent.
- In joint custody, the court allows both parents to share time with the child and make decisions together about the child’s education, medical care and religious upbringing. The family court can review the arrangement every two years and make modifications as necessary.
If you will be the non-custodial parent, we will advocate for a generous visitation schedule that will give you the time you need to maintain a healthy relationship with your children while not disrupting their school and extracurricular schedule.
Factors Considered When Determining Custody
- Child’s preference: If your child is 14 years old, they can choose which parent they want to live with subject to approval by the court
- Stability: Home environment of each parents as it relates to the nurturing and safety of the child. The importance of continuity in the child’s life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
- Emotional Ties: The love, affection, bonding and emotional ties that exists between each parent and the child.
- Provide Basic Needs: The ability of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and education
- Active Involvement: Each parent’s involvement in the child’s educational, social and extracurricular activities
- Scheduling Conflicts: Each parent’s employment schedule and the flexibility or limitations, if any, of a parent to care for the child.
- Parental Misconduct: Evidence of family violence, child abuse, substance abuse or criminal history of either parent.
- Changes of Circumstance: Long distance moves, changes in relationships, job changes, and more can all yield a change of custody rights. If the other parent has undergone a major change of circumstances, you may need to bring this up in court when determining where your children live.
- Emotional Ties with Siblings: The love, affection, bonding and emotional ties that exists between his or her siblings, half-siblings, and step-siblings and where those other children live.
- Relationship Between Parents: The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interest of the child.
In Georgia, both parents are responsible for financially supporting their child. We help fathers reach fair arrangements for child support payments that accommodate their financial situation and custody agreement.
In determining child support, the court will generally award child support to the custodial parent meaning that the non custodial parent will probably be paying some amount of monthly child support.
The court takes into account how much each of you earns and how much time your child spends with each of you. If you are both working, then child support payments might be less.
Factors that are taken into consideration when calculating the child support amount include:
Attorney Williams will take all of the applicable factors into account to ensure that you are paying or receiving the amount necessary to financially support your children.
Helping Unmarried Fathers Gain Parental Rights
If you’ve never been married to the mother of your child, you don’t have parental rights
in the eyes of the law. If you would like to be legally recognized as the father, we can help you establish paternity through a process called legitimization.
Ways To Legitimize A Child
1) File a Petition for Legitimization in the county where the mother lives. If the mother lives out of state, you can file in your county. You must formally notify the mother of the filing, and if she wants to attend the hearing she is allowed to do so. The court will legitimate the child if the court believes it is in the child’s best interests.
You will then be granted the right to:
- Seek legal or physical custody of your child
- Enjoy visitation, if you do not have joint physical custody over your child
- Receive child support if appropriate
- Have a right to object to a potential adoption of your child
2.) Both parents can sign a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form and agree in that form to legitimate the child. This form should be available at the hospital when the child is born and also at any Vital Records office in Georgia.
When you legitimate your child through a joint statement with the mother, you must file a separate petition with the court to ask for custody or visitation.
3.) If you or the mother would like to make a motion for the court to order DNA testing, you may do so. The person who requests the testing is responsible for costs associated with the testing.