Neighboring Georgia has just revamped its child custody statutory framework with the goal of streamlining its procedures.
The Georgia legislature attributed the changes to a desire to spare kids drawn-out, traumatic custody battles.
Odds are, the desire to spare family court judges and the judicial system’s infrastructure from the same was just as powerful a motivation.
But that, by itself, shouldn’t detract from the legal changes.
Under the new Georgia framework, each parent is required to propose a parenting plan.
This methodology has gained favor in several states and is under serious consideration by the Florida legislature as well.
Another change is that Georgians may now opt to submit their cases to binding arbitration, a somewhat less expensive and more informal process than taking their case before a judge in court.
This option is already available here in Florida, although rarely utilized.
Another significant change is that, under previous Georgia law, kids at least 14 years old could choose the parent with whom they wanted to live primarily. No longer do the kids necessarily get the final word.
Since the law continually evolves and changes with the people and times, it is very instructive to follow the experience and evolution of family law in our sister states.