Just recently went to settle for child support and joint custody, with the guidelines set and our work hours completely opposite, I feel like I am unable to care for our daughter in the ways I should. I work 8 hours 6 days a week on 2-3 hours of sleep. I feel like it would be a better situation/environment for her to be in total care from her father who is older, with a better/day job. I just do not want to give her away and not be in her life at all. I am concerned about the outcome, is there a chance of visitation if he is in sole custody?
Whenever one parent has custody, the court will usually award visitation to the other parent. However, there may be a better way to handle it, without actually giving up custody. You should speak with an experienced family law attorney before giving up any rights.
I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.
Rather than granting sole custody to the father, you should probably consider consenting to modifying custody to grant PRIMARY custody to him, and reserving secondary custody (aka, visitation rights) for yourself. Considering that your modification is voluntary, you and the father should be able to come up with a visitation schedule that your work schedule will allow.
Good luck finding a way to juggle your life.
~ 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.
First, it would probably be helpful to have a clear understanding of what the terms "sole," "primary," "secondary" and "joint" mean as they pertain to "physical" or "legal" custody. Physical custody is where the child lays his or her head at night - the child's primary residence. Legal custody is about decision making - medical, educational, extracurricular, and religious decisions for the child.
If someone has "sole" custody, they are effectively the primary parent, and the secondary parent typically would request parenting time (or visitation) with the child on a consistent schedule. Agreeing to someone having "primary physical custody" does not mean a surrender of your rights as a parent, and it does not sound like anyone is seeking to terminate your rights (from the information you provided). "Joint physical" custody connotes a shared (50/50) custodial relationship, where the child, for example, has a one-week-on / one-week-off schedule with each parent (although it does not have to be that particular schedule).
If you have "joint legal custody," then as parents, you have an obligation to make a good faith effort to communicate with each other and to try and arrive at a mutual decision regarding medical, education, extracurricular, and religious decisions impacting your child. If you cannot agree, then someone should have the "ultimate decision making authority." Typically, the Court will award ultimate decision making authority to the primary caretaker, but you and the child's father could agree to some alternate arrangement (for example that he have ultimate decision making authority on education and medical decisions and you have utlimate decision making authority on religion and extracurricular activities).
If it's an original custody action, the Court has to determine what is in the child's best interest. If you believe it is in your child's best interest to stay in her father's primary care, you should share that with the Court - as well as the kind of visitation schedule (time with you) that you feel would be workable with your schedule and would allow you and your child to continue to have a meaningful interaction and relationship to the extent you feel such visitation is also in her best interest.
Hope this helps. Best of luck to you.
This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as nor does it constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Do not rely on this answer in prosecuting or defending against any criminal or civil legal action. Speak to an attorney in your area about how to protect yourself and your interests.
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