Hi, I'm Dave Ward from the Ward Law Firm. Sometimes families can find themselves in a situation where they have either nieces, nephews, or more commonly grandchildren who are in a situation where their parents are not properly taking care of them. The children as a result of that are in some sort of immediate threat of either physical or psychological harm.
In those instances Georgia law does allow certain third parties, those being grandparents and certain other blood relatives, like aunts and uncles, to seek custody from the parents of the child. In those instances, there are certain presumptions that apply, and that must be overcome before a party can prevail on that sort of an action.
Those presumptions are number one, that a parent is a fit and proper parent. That's one of the presumptions that applies. The second presumption is that fit parents make decisions that are in the best interest of their children. Our third presumption is that it is in the child's best interest that the parent have custody.
In a situation where those presumptions can be rebutted, in order for the third party, which is either the grandparent or one of these blood relatives that we discussed, to gain custody the trial court has to determine that the child would suffer either long term emotional or psychological harm. Or would suffer physical harm by the continuation of parental custody. The fact that it simply might happen is not sufficient under those circumstances.
So if you have any other questions about third party custody, if you have a child that you're concerned about and want to learn more, contact us today. Remember, I'm Dave Ward from the Ward Law Firm. We protect business owners who are facing divorce.