Sunday, June 28, 2009

I travel a lot for business. How will this impact a court’s custody decision?
Georgia courts base custody decisions on the best interests of the child. Therefore, any factor that affects the child’s best interest, including a parent’s travel schedule, will play a role in that decision. Such factors can include the child’s age and the relationship the child has with each parent. The impact of the travel will vary depending on the child’s best interests and the amount and predictability of the travel. It is highly unlikely that a parent that travels more than one-half of the time would have primary custody.

If the parent travels about one-half of the time, the court would look to other best-interests factors to determine whether a joint custody schedule would be appropriate. If a parent travels a few days per month, he or she may still be granted primary custody depending on other best-interests factors. If a parent’s travel schedule is unpredictable, the parent must be creative in proposing a schedule to the court that allows for some flexibility in the custodial schedule, as a rigid schedule could cause that parent to miss out on parenting time. Allowances for make-up parenting time would be helpful in this situation and should be requested.

O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3(a)(2); Bodne v. Bodne, 277 Ga. 445 (2003).

Written by Stern & Edlin Lawyer, Carla Schiff.
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