In Georgia and elsewhere, one of the primary concerns for parents deciding to divorce is their child. From child custody to child support, these decisions can be challenging for the child and the parents. Recently, a NBA player was in court over a contentious child custody matter.
According to reports, Lamar Odom, basketball player and husband of a reality TV celebrity, fell asleep while attending a child custody hearing. An officer of the court present at the hearing reportedly asked whether Odom was OK. Odom and his ex-girlfriend are in a child custody dispute over their two children.
There are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child primarily resides. Physical custody is often awarded to one parent, who is often referred to as the custodial parent. Legal custody refers to the ability to make medical, religious and educational decisions for the child; it is often awarded to both parents jointly if they can cooperate enough to make those decisions.
In Georgia, if parents are unable to come to an agreement on child custody, the court may determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. Factors that the court may consider in determining child custody are the current living circumstances of the child, the physical and emotional impact that a child may have a result of a custody decision and whether each parent is able to provide for the needs of the child. The court may also consider who the primary caretaker of the child is and the child's personal preferences.
In a contentious divorce, parents may unintentionally put their children in the middle of their emotional fights. However, it is important that parents remember that the children may also be negatively impacted by their parents' behavior and parents should attempt to act reasonably towards one another.