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Is it a law that custody has to go through court?

Atlanta, GA |

Can custody be determined legally between parents and then brought to court to be simply signed by a judge?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. In any divorce or other custody matter, only a judge can determine custody by court order. In most cases, parties can reach an agreement and submit it to a court. A judge is not required to accept such an agreement. The chances of it being accepted depend on the facts of the case it is filed in, and on the use of an attorney who knows how to properly draft the agreement, and all the requisite other papers, which may include parenting plans, child support paperwork, etc.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  2. A custody arrangement between non-married parents is not valid (i.e. enforceable) unless there is a court order memorializing the arrangement and making it official. Said order does not have to be "decided" by the court. It is possible/acceptable for the parties to reach an agreement and that agreement be made into the order of the court.

    It is advisable that you consult an attorney to have your documents drafted. This is the best way of ensuring that the proper documents are completed properly.

    I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

    ~ Kem Eyo

    The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.

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