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How Do Child Support and Child Custody Work in Georgia Co-Parenting?

Georgia has one of the highest divorce rates in the United States, so it is not uncommon for children to grow up splitting time between two households. Providing a stable and healthy future for children is the most important goal for most divorcing parents. But while the word “co-parenting” might sound simple, a lot of work goes into making arrangements for where children will live, how decisions will be made about their daily lives and who will pay for what until they are at least 18 years old.

Co-parenting works better when both parents can agree about the type of life they want to provide for their children. Establishing reliable patterns and a common structure across both households can help kids maintain a sense of normalcy. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recommends creating a shared list of values so kids won’t be confused about what type of behavior is allowed in each home. This same attitude is beneficial when considering parenting time and child support arrangements.

Co-parenting does not necessarily mean that duties and financial responsibilities will be split 50/50 between parents, nor does it mean that everything will be easy. Child support and custody arrangements play a big part in determining the roles and responsibilities each parent will assume. The approach that spouses take to settling these issues can establish the tone for how they will continue to communicate and collaborate as their kids grow.

Mediation and collaborative divorce are two processes that may help parents reduce lingering hostility and keep the focus on their children’s well-being. With each method, parents try to come up with solutions that work best for all, considering factors such as each parent’s income, working hours and living situation, as well as the children’s preferences. Open communication is encouraged so parents can understand each other’s needs and come up with fair compromises.

To maintain stability, parents should respect and adhere to custody and support arrangements and communicate with each other if a problem ever arises. Because circumstances can change drastically as years go by — with new jobs, partners and homes potentially creating and eliminating opportunities for each parent — it may be necessary to make modifications to the original agreements. This can be achieved by petitioning the court for a new order.

In the 15 years since I opened the Law Office of S. Mark Mitchell, LLC, I have helped countless Georgia parents obtain fair custody and support orders and make modifications to existing orders. If you need help making your divorce work for your family, call my Newnan office at 470-344-8550 or contact me online to schedule a consultation.