2020 Georgia Code
Title 19 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 9 - Child Custody Proceedings
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 19-9-7. Visitation by Parent Who Has Committed Acts of Family Violence; Conditional Orders; Confidentiality; Joint Counseling; Conditions for Supervised Visitation

Universal Citation: GA Code § 19-9-7 (2020)
  1. A judge may award visitation or parenting time to a parent who committed one or more acts involving family violence only if the judge finds that adequate provision for the safety of the child and the parent who is a victim of family violence can be made. In a visitation or parenting time order, a judge may:
    1. Order an exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting;
    2. Order visitation or parenting time supervised by another person or agency;
    3. Order the perpetrator of family violence to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the judge, a certified family violence intervention program for perpetrators as defined in Article 1A of Chapter 13 of this title as a condition of the visitation or parenting time;
    4. Order the perpetrator of family violence to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol, marijuana, or any Schedule I controlled substance listed in Code Section 16-13-25 during the visitation or parenting time and for 24 hours preceding the visitation or parenting time;
    5. Order the perpetrator of family violence to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised visitation or parenting time;
    6. Prohibit overnight visitation or parenting time;
    7. Require a bond from the perpetrator of family violence for the return and safety of the child; and
    8. Impose any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety of the child, the victim of family violence, or another family or household member.
  2. Whether or not visitation or parenting time is allowed, the judge may order the address of the child and the victim of family violence to be kept confidential.
  3. The judge shall not order an adult who is a victim of family violence to attend joint counseling with the perpetrator of family violence as a condition of receiving custody of a child or as a condition of visitation or parenting time.
  4. If a judge allows a family or household member to supervise visitation or parenting time, the judge shall establish conditions to be followed during visitation or parenting time.

(Code 1981, §19-9-7, enacted by Ga. L. 1995, p. 863, § 7; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1435, § 2; Ga. L. 2007, p. 554, § 5/HB 369.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2002, p. 1435, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Georgia's Family Violence Intervention Program Certification Act."'

Ga. L. 2007, p. 554, § 1/HB 369, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The General Assembly of Georgia declares that it is the policy of this state to assure that minor children have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interests of their children and to encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of rearing their children after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage or relationship."

Ga. L. 2007, p. 554, § 8/HB 369, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the 2007 amendment shall apply to all child custody proceedings and modifications of child custody filed on or after January 1, 2008.

Law reviews.

- For note on the 2002 amendment of this Code section, see 19 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 142 (2002).


Failure to incorporate parenting plan.

- Trial court erred in failing to incorporate a parenting plan in the court's final judgment and decree. Williams v. Williams, 301 Ga. 218, 800 S.E.2d 282 (2017).

Ordered supervised visitation not an abuse of discretion.

- Trial court did not abuse the court's discretion by ordering the father to have supervised visitation because there was evidence of several prior instances of family violence by the father that enabled the trial court to determine, in the court's discretion, that supervised overnight visitation was warranted in the child's best interest and the record showed that many overnight visits were already supervised by the father's mother, and the father's mother was apparently willing and able to supervise overnight visits. Spirnak v. Meadows, Ga. App. , 844 S.E.2d 482 (2020).



- Construction and effect of statutes mandating consideration of, or creating presumptions regarding, domestic violence in awarding custody of children, 51 A.L.R.5th 241.


Law reviews.

- For survey article on domestic relations, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 113 (1982).


Editor's notes.

- For additional cases dealing with custody of children, see annotations under § 9-14-2, dealing with habeas corpus on account of detention of child, and under §§ 19-7-1 and19-7-4, dealing with parental powers and loss of parental custody.

O.C.G.A. Art. 2, Ch. 9, T. 19 has as its general purpose the promotion of stability in the home environment and secure family relationships for the child of divorced parents, deterrence of abductions and other unilateral removals of children, and facilitation of the enforcement of custody decrees. O.C.G.A. § 19-9-24 employs a "clean hands" doctrine to ensure these ends. Stewart v. Stewart, 160 Ga. App. 463, 287 S.E.2d 378 (1981).

Cited in Neal v. Washington, 158 Ga. App. 39, 279 S.E.2d 294 (1981); Hutto v. Hutto, 250 Ga. 116, 296 S.E.2d 549 (1982); Thompson v. Thompson, 241 Ga. App. 616, 526 S.E.2d 576 (1999).

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