Father’s Rights AND Decision Making

David Rembert tried his divorce case against Angela Rembert and got joint legal custody of his two children.  But the judge also gave him primary physical custody and final decision making authority on all matters involving the children including the school they attend, membership in organizations, and other extracurricular activities.

Angela appealed contending that the order didn’t really grant joint legal custody because it gave David greater father’s rights via the final decision making authority.

The Supreme Court of Georgia noted the joint custody statute provided that the judge may designate one parent to have sole power to make certain decisions.

Angela also complained that the decision to award primary physical custody to David was wrong because she was equally fit to be a parent.  The court noted that Angela had a romantic involvement with a married man prior to filing for divorce and said she intended to marry him after her divorce.  She also planned to be a full-time student.  She borrowed $43,000 from David to buy a car after the separation.  And she threatened the life of a neighbor.

David, on the other hand, intended to stay in the marital home, and was seeking a transfer from his job as a pilot to be a trainer with a more regular schedule.  The appeals court said this was ample support for the decision of the trial court and affirmed the decision.

Rembert v. Rembert, Case No. S08F1582, Georgia Supreme Court (Decided March 23, 2009)