Features of Pending Shared Parenting Bill

My friend Randy Kessler authored the following article for the Fulton County Daily Report about the  Shared Parenting bill (HB 369) pending in the Georgia General Assembly:

More changes coming to family law
Tell your representative how you feel about the potential adjustments to the custody statute

A NEW CUSTODY BILL, which dramatically changes the custody statute currently in effect, is being considered by the Georgia Legislature. The Georgia Bar and the citizens of Georgia are just now digesting the earlier changes to the child support guidelines and they soon will be faced with adjustments to the custody statute. Some highlights under the new bill include the following:

• Direct appeals for judgments in custody actions. For well over 10 years, custody cases were discretionary and the appellate courts could decline to hear them. Under the new bill, these cases may be taken directly to the Georgia Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

• A parenting plan must be submitted for all cases in which custody is at issue between the parents. The new bill will require each parent to prepare and submit a parenting plan, or the parties may jointly submit a parenting plan that would be incorporated into any final decree.