Decatur Equitable Caregiver Attorneys
The Support You Need, When You Need it
Georgia has unique equitable caregiver statutes that enable non-related individuals to obtain visitation and parental rights for a ward they have a substantial relationship with..
At Gibbs Tillery, our Decatur equitable caregiver lawyers are intimately familiar with how Georgia family courts handle caregiver cases. We'll work with you to help you establish the caregiver rights you deserve.
What Is the Equitable Caregiver Act?
Traditionally, a child's biological parents have parental rights, meaning they decide how to care for the child and what actions they can take to pursue the child's best interests.
However, for a number of reasons, biological parents aren't always able to retain their caregiver status. Sometimes, parents lose their parental rights by committing actions that go against their child's best interests, like abuse. If a child is orphaned, a new caregiver has to step in and look after them.
When a child's biological parents cannot take care of them, the court often tries to find another family member to care for them. Prior to the Equitable Caregiver Act, only grandparents, great-grandparents, and siblings of a child could be awarded parental rights.
The Equitable Caregiver Act was developed to allow other demographics to obtain parental rights for a child or qualify as a caregiver. Under the Equitable Caregiver Act, non-biologically related adults can qualify for parental or visitation rights.
The Equitable Caregiver Act passed into law on July 1, 2019, and was widely celebrated by LGBTQ+ rights activists and other parties for expanding eligibility requirements for caregivers.
I'm Interested in Utilizing the Equitable Caregiver's Act. How Does It Work?
To become a caregiver under equitable caregiver statutes, you must prove that you played a "fundamental" role in the child's life prior to their biological parents losing parental rights. You must also prove that you wish to pursue the child's best interests, and provide a plan for how you propose to do so.
To gain caregiver status under equitable caregiver statutes, you must petition the family court in the county where the child resides. The court will examine the evidence you have indicating why you should be a caregiver and use that information to determine whether you should be awarded parental rights.
It's worth noting that parental rights might not be end-goal for everyone who wants to have caregiver status. If the child already has an individual taking care of them that you trust, you may wish to petition the court for visitation rights instead. If you gain visitation rights, you'll have access to the child without being their only caregiver.
If you're considering using equitable caregiver statutes to petition for parental or visitation rights, you should obtain the aid of an equitable caregiver attorney. An attorney can help you gather evidence that proves you play a fundamental role in the child's life and deserve parental or visitation rights. A lawyer can also advocate for you in court, helping strengthen your case and reducing the stress of appearing in front of a judge.
At Gibbs Tillery, our Decatur equitable caregiver lawyers know the best strategies for petitioning family courts for parental and visitation rights. We'll work with you to build a comprehensive case strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.
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