One element of the Georgia Shared Parenting Bill, HB 369, as it was originally drafted was to eliminate the right of children 14 years or older to select their custodial parent. Under current Georgia law, that election is binding on the court unless the selected parent is found to be unfit. In the bill passed by the House on March 28, 2007, a Rules Committee substitute, that provision was removed and the election language was reinstated.
In all custody cases in which the child has reached the age of 14 years, the child shall have the right to select the parent with whom he or she desires to live and shall have the right to determine his or her visitation schedule or parenting time with the noncustodial parent. The child´s selection for purposes of custody, visitation, or parenting time shall be presumptive unless the parent so selected is determined not to be in the best interests of the child. The parental selection by a child who has reached the age of 14 may, in and of itself, constitute a material change of condition or circumstance in any action seeking a modification or change in the custody of that child; provided, however, that such selection may only be made once within a period of two years from the date of the previous selection and the best interests of the child standard shall apply.