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What is the Equitable Caregiver Act?

Something that is very common when it comes to divorce or custody cases is when an individual who is not related to a child by blood becomes the person who is taking care of the child the most. For example, here is a common scenario:

Parent A, we’ll call him Tom, starts dating someone new. We’ll call her Sally. Tom has three children with parent B. We’ll call her Jane. Jane is not heavily involved in her children’s lives. She sees them occasionally, but very rarely, and does not have custody. Sally is very involved in their lives; she takes them to their baseball games, gymnastics practices, and even their doctor’s appointments when Tom is not able to. The kids love Sally, and Sally loves them. However, after years of dating, Tom and Sally decide to part ways. Sally does not want to simply step out of Tom’s children’s lives, though. She met them when they were young and feels like she played a huge part in raising them, stepping up when their biological mother did not. Does Sally have any rights in this situation even though she is not related to them by blood?

In this case, something called the “Equitable Caregiver Act” would come into play. It gives judges broad discretion in what is in the best interest of the child. So, it would give them the ability to grant visitation or even custody to a third-party caregiver.

In Georgia, to be considered an equitable caregiver, you must provide the following:

  • You have undertaken a full and complete parental role in the child’s life.
  • You have provided consistent caretaking for the child.
  • You fully and permanently accept parental responsibility for the child without expectation of monetary compensation.
  • You have a bond with the child that has been fostered or supported by one or both of the parents.
  • The parent or parents acknowledge and accept that you have behaved in a manner consistent with a parental role.

The Equitable Caregiver Act can be a complicated issue to deal with. If you’re unsure that your situation qualifies, call Brown, Dutton & Crider to schedule a consultation today!

About Brown, Dutton & Crider Law Firm:

Family law matters affect your life deeply and personally. Family law is far more than just another “legal matter.” It impacts your life, your children’s lives, your finances, and your future.

Whether our clients are going through a complex divorce, a child custody issue, or have a modification need, they are our number one priority. At Brown, Dutton & Crider Family Law Firm, our family law attorneys take pride in supporting our clients and guiding them through any challenges they are facing. Helping our clients improve their quality of life is the reason we do what we do. We walk with clients every step of the way.

At Brown, Dutton & Crider Family Law Firm, we are a group of experienced divorce and family law attorneys in Georgia with years of litigation experience and countless satisfied clients.

The attorneys at Brown, Dutton & Crider would be honored to stand by your side during this difficult time. JenniLance, and Tracy are experienced, transparent, and compassionate Georgia family lawyers that have been practicing attorneys more than 30 years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin planning for your future!