Practice Areas

Child Custody & Access 

Smith & Lake’s family law attorneys have particular expertise in assisting and advising clients on child custody and access issues.  We help clients distinguish between legal custody and physical custody, and define their goals for negotiating each, keeping their child’s best interests in mind.  Legal custody allows a parent to make decisions related to a child’s health, safety, education, religion and overall welfare.  A child’s legal custodian chooses where he or she goes to school, in what extracurricular activities he or she will participate, and determines the child’s religious practices and health care procedures.  Physical custody relates to a child’s primary residence, as well as the schedule for child sharing.  This includes weekday and weekend visitation planning, as well as a schedule to share holidays, school breaks, summer vacation and special family events.

We believe that where possible, reaching an agreement on child custody and access is best for children and families.  However, there are instances where only the Judge can bring resolution to these important issues.  Our attorneys have significant experience in high conflict, custody and visitation cases in all Metro Atlanta counties.

As we develop plans for each parent’s custodial time, our attorneys help clients anticipate present and future challenges in scheduling, protecting our clients’ wishes and interests.  Once a custody agreement is established, we are able to help clients enforce those agreements, or modify them as needed.  Child custody modifications often occur when parents move residences, children need to switch schools or previous agreements otherwise no longer suit the children’s needs.  As these material changes in circumstances occur, our attorneys are able to guide clients as they renegotiate the terms of their custody agreement or seek intervention to change the provisions.