2022 Georgia Code
Title 19 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 9 - Child Custody Proceedings
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 19-9-2. Right of Surviving Parent to Custody of Child; Discretion of Judge

Universal Citation: GA Code § 19-9-2 (2022)

Upon the death of either parent, the survivor is entitled to custody of the child; provided, however, that the judge, upon petition, may exercise discretion as to the custody of the child, looking solely to the child’s best interest and welfare.

History. Orig. Code 1863, § 1745; Code 1868, § 1785; Code 1873, § 1794; Code 1882, § 1794; Civil Code 1895, § 2503; Civil Code 1910, § 3022; Code 1933, § 74-106; Ga. L. 1979, p. 466, § 42; Ga. L. 1996, p. 412, § 2; Ga. L. 2007, p. 554, § 5/HB 369.

Editor’s notes.

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 criticizing Quiner v. Quiner, 57 Cal. Rptr. 503 (Ct. App. 1967), holding abnormal religious convictions of mother were not sufficient grounds upon which to deny custody of child, see 17 J. of Pub. L. 193 (1968).

For article, “The Child as a Party in Interest in Custody Proceedings,” see 10 Ga. St. B.J. 577 (1974).

For article criticizing parental rights doctrine and advocating best interests of child doctrine in parent-third party custody disputes, see 27 Emory L.J. 209 (1978).

For comment on “Grandparents’ Visitation Rights in Georgia,” see 29 Emory L.J. 1083 (1980).

For article surveying developments in Georgia domestic relations law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 109 (1981).

For review of 1996 domestic relations legislation, see 13 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 155 (1996).

For article, “Domestic Relations Law,” see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 265 (2001).

For annual survey on domestic relations law, see 64 Mercer L. Rev. 121 (2012).

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