Section 5 of HB 369 is where the most substantial changes to Georgia law were made in the bill. It affected several existing Code sections and I will address each by reference to the statute it changed or added.
OCGA section 19-9-6 received a few changes. The most notable was to add to the list of decisions included under joint legal custody was extarcurricular activities. The term "parenting time" was also added as an alternative to the term "visitation." The statue now reads as follows:
"As used in this article, the term:
(1) ‘Joint custody’ means joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both joint legal custody and joint physical custody. In making an order for joint custody, the judge may order joint legal custody without ordering joint physical custody.
(2) ‘Joint legal custody’ means both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child, including the child´s education, health care, extracurricular activities, and religious training; provided, however, that the judge may designate one parent to have sole power to make certain decisions while both parents retain equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions.
(3) ‘Joint physical custody’ means that physical custody is shared by the parents in such a way as to assure the child of substantially equal time and contact with both parents.
(4) ‘Sole custody’ means a person, including, but not limited to, a parent, has been awarded permanent custody of a child by a court order. Unless otherwise provided by court order, the person awarded sole custody of a child shall have the rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child, including the child´s education, health care, extracurricular activities, and religious training, and the noncustodial parent shall have the right to visitation or parenting time. A person who has not been awarded custody of a child by court order shall not be considered as the sole legal custodian while exercising visitation rights or parenting time."