Forsyth County Equitable Caregiver Lawyer
Historically, Georgia law has taken the approach that parents are in the best position to provide for the care, comfort, and financial support for their own children. However, following initiatives in other US states, lawmakers recently reformed the traditional view to recognize that there are other individuals who play a role in children’s lives. Grandparents, stepparents, and similarly situated adults may now have the right to petition for custody and visitation as designated by Georgia’s Equitable Caregiver Law.
Still, though the state may provide you with important rights, the legal process of exercising them remains complicated. Disputes are common, the statutory requirements are strict, and there are no guarantees. Your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome improve when you work with Buckhead Family Law, so please contact our office today. We can schedule a consultation with a Forsyth County equitable caregiver lawyer, but you might find it useful to review some basic information.
Understanding Georgia’s Statute on Non-Parent Caretakers
The key to Georgia’s Equitable Caregiver Act is that it provides non-parents with child custody and visitation rights, along with a process through which they can exercise them. A person seeking to be an equitable caregiver must prove four essential elements:
- The petitioner assumed a permanent, committed, and parent-like role in taking responsibility for the child’s needs;
- He or she has taken on the position of a caretaker on a consistent basis;
- The individual has established a bonded, dependent relationship with the child; and,
- The petitioner provided childcare services without exchange of financial compensation.
By meeting these elements, a petitioner has standing to seek child custody and visitation; however, the determination is still subject to review under the child’s best interests standard.
Protecting the Interests of Non-Parent Caretakers
Our team at Buckhead Family Law represents grandparents, great-grandparents, adult siblings, and other individuals with their options under equitable caregiver laws. These cases can be extremely contentious, often involving numerous hearings, appointment of a guardian ad litem, and mediation. However, equitable caregiver arrangements can also be reached by an agreement with all relevant parties.
Our Forsyth County equitable caregiver lawyers are dedicated to supporting your legal needs throughout the proceedings. We begin by consulting with you to learn about your circumstances, assess objectives, and explain the laws. We will be at your side to assist with:
- Negotiations for an equitable caregiver agreement;
- Gathering evidence regarding standing as an equitable caregiver;
- Filing the petition and supporting documentation;
- Attending court appearances and mediation, when ordered by the court;
- Representing you at a hearing on status as an equitable caregiver, and child custody and visitation issues.
Discuss Your Circumstances with a Forsyth County Equitable Caregiver Attorney
As you can see, the statutes, requirements, and court procedural rules regarding equitable caregivers can be overwhelming. While you do have rights, you may face an uphill battle in convincing the court to recognize your role in the child’s life. For more information on how we can support your objectives, please call 470-600-6699 or go online to set up a consultation with a Georgia equitable caregiver lawyer at Buckhead Family Law.