In Georgia custody cases, judges are required to consider the desires and educational needs of children ages 11 -13. (A child who has reached the age of 14 has the right to select which parent with whom he or she desires to live – and that election is presumptive unless the judge determines the selection is not in the best intersts of the child.)
For children ages 11 -13, the judge must consider the child’s desires, but the child’s desires are not controlling. The judge is not required to let the child testify; the judge may consider the child’s desires through a guardian ad litem’s report.
For 11-13 year olds, the judge may also grant temporary custody to the selected parent for a trial period of up to 6 months if the judge determines that is appropriate.
To discuss the specifics of your Georgia or South Carolina child custody situation, contact Karen Hindson of Hindson & Melton LLC.