Question: I want to know if Georgia law always favors the mother over the father in a child custody battle.
My child's mother has a lot of issues. She's an alcoholic who is constantly drinking wine no matter what time it is. She hides from the child when she doesn't feel like being a parent, like when she gets really drunk or when she just wants to chill out and smoke pot and listen to music.
She can never keep a job, and I've heard rumors she engages in prostitution when she wants to earn extra money for things like an expensive watch or to buy clothes at Chanel or Burberry. And she's very mean to our daughter who she calls a “porker” and a “slut.”
Obviously don't want the court to give her my kid just because she is the mom. She is not suitable to be a full-time mother, at least until she addresses her alcoholism, marijuana habit, anger issues and stops having sex for money.
R.T. in Milton, Georgia
Answer: Under the laws of Georgia, the court should do what is best for the child. Oftentimes, courts find that that children should have a relationship with both of their parents. Certain judges may prefer the children to be with their mother, but evidence may prove that the mother is unfit; therefore, the father would get custody.
Georgia law states, “In all cases in which the custody of any child is at issue between the parents, there shall be no prima-facie right to the custody of the child in the father or mother. There shall be no presumption in favor of any particular form of custody, legal or physical, nor in favor of either parent…” O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3 (a) (1).
So there is no preference under Georgia law for which gender receives custody. There are a lot of factors that the court considers when deciding custody. Some things a court will consider when determining what is in the child's best interest is the emotional bond between the child and each parent, each parents' knowledge about the child and their needs, home environment, each parents' past performance and abilities to parent, etc.
When you need a Fulton County child custody lawyer, we are here for you 24/7.