One of the most challenging and emotionally difficult aspects of divorce is child custody and visitation. We understand how incredibly painful this aspect of divorce can be and bring our empathy as well as our expertise in handling this delicate legal matter.
When we work with and for our clients, we never forget the impact of our work on the entire family.
Child Custody and Visitation
Holland Roddenbery has extensive experience in pursuing and defending custody and visitation cases, and we work tirelessly to obtain excellent results for our clients.
Child Custody cases can be complex and are treated very seriously by the courts. The courts in the State of Georgia determine custody by applying the “best interest of the child” standard. Holland Roddenbery knows that this gives the judge options relating to the role of each parent, including time and visitation, as well as educational, health, extracurricular, and religious decisions in children’s lives.
When clients are unable to come to an understanding and agreement on a parenting play, we may recommend that a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”) be appointed by the Judge to investigate and make recommendations to the court. We also work with leading child psychologists and other professionals as needed in custody cases.
We are also committed to helping clients through custody evaluations, which may include psychological examinations, observations, interviews, and review of documents.
Grandparent and 3rd Party Custody and Visitation
Our contacts, knowledge, and tenacity ensure our clients have the very best chance for a rewarding outcome for their families. We’ve represented parents and grandparents on both sides of a case.
In traditional custody and parenting time arrangements, it is normally the biological or legal parent of the child who is granted custody rights (for example the child’s mother or father). In some cases, a person other than the child’s biological or legal mother or father may be granted custody rights. These are known as “third party custody cases.” There are certain situations in which custody or guardianship of a child is granted to grandparents, close relatives, or other persons.
Some examples of when a third party could be awarded custody or guardianship of a child include:
- When both parents are living, but neither parent is fit to care for the child;
- When the primary custodial parent has died, and custody with the remaining parent would cause physical or long-term emotional harm to the child, and custody with a third party is in the child’s best interests; or
- When the child has been living with a third-party individual for a long period of time and a parent consents to guardianship with the third party.
Child Custody cases can be complex and are treated very seriously by the courts. The lawyers at Holland Roddenbery have extensive experience in pursuing and defending third party custody cases and a proven track record of obtaining good results for our clients. Because of our experience, we have worked with many leading child psychologists and other professionals who often play a role in these important cases.
On occasion, it is best if a grandparent or some other third party is given guardianship of a child. This arrangement is best when it is meant to be temporary and the plan is that at some point the child will be returned to the parent. We can guide you through the process and help you make the right decision as to whether custody, guardianship, or adoption is the best solution.
Legitimation and Paternity
Not every child is born within a marriage, and fathers are not guaranteed rights just because their name is on a child’s birth certificate. In most states, including Georgia, the biological mother has sole custody and parental authority until there is a legitimation or paternity order.
Establishing paternity is fairly simple, and the court will issue an order of paternity. The father may also legitimate the child and may receive custodial rights - and the mother can also seek child support or custody arrangements with the father as a part of the paternity or legitimation process.
There is great joy in adoption, whether it is welcoming a new child to your family or formalizing a relationship with a step-parent or other family member. This unique area of the law requires experience, dedication, and diligence to make the process as smooth as possible.
The partners at Holland Roddenbery are experts at every aspect of adoption law, from termination of parental rights to adoption by consent of both biological parents. We understand the unique mix of emotional and legal challenges surrounding adoption cases, and we are here to make things easier for your family.