Question: I want custody of our daughter when I get divorced. My wife isn't a good parent because she drinks too much, smokes pot and uses cocaine, and seems to spend all of her time on Facebook. She doesn't work and is very lazy. She doesn't do much housework and when she does, it's not very good.
I'm scared she'll neglect our daughter who needs care because she's young and is slightly autistic. She needs someone who can take care of her, get her to school, take her to therapy, and make sure she eats right. And that's another thing. I think my wife has an eating disorder since she throws-up after eating meals. She said a lot of her friends do it too, but I don't think it's normal. I think people with mental issues do that. She says she just wants to stay thin, like her sister, who has been institutionalized.
We've been married 19 years and things weren't always like this. My wife used to work as an investment banker and she travelled all over the world. She made good money, actually she made great money. But, slowly, she changed.
She said she didn't want to work so much and then, over time, she said she didn't want to work at all. Her crazy mother didn't work and her father worked for the railroad, so I think he worked hard, but he also drank hard.
I work selling software and I can work from home. So that frees up my schedule to spend time with my daughter. Since things have been getting bad, I don't think I have any choice but to get a divorce, and hopefully it'll be an uncontested divorce. But my main concern is my child and getting custody. So I need to know about child custody law and what a judge looks at to give a parent custody.
You were recommended as a Roswell child custody lawyer and I need help.
L.W. in Roswell, GA
Answer: The primary consideration for a Georgia court in a custody matter is “the best interest of the child.” The court wants there be the least impact as possible on the child. The judge wants the child's routine to remain normal and stable since children do best when they feel comfortable, safe, and protected.
A court will consider a number of factors when making a custody decision, including:
- the age and health of the child
- the jobs and careers of the couple
- which parent is handling primary parenting responsibilities
- the child's preference of parent
- the emotional ties between the parents and the child
- the time each parent spent with the children in the past
- history of family violence, alcoholism or drug abuse
- parental skills
A Georgia custody lawyer can assess your matter and present you with your best options.