You may be considering child custody modification in Georgia, or have questions or thoughts about changing your existing child custody order. Although these initial orders are carefully considered by judges and should be based in the best interests of the children involved, sometimes circumstances change within the family. The parent making the modification request will need to submit a new proposed parenting plan. The judge may modify the order if those changed circumstances within the family meet certain criteria, and so long as the modification is in the best interest of the child or children.
In What Instances Will the Court Modify a Child Custody Order in Georgia?
There are two main instances where the court will modify the child custody order:
- One parent is no longer able or suited to retain custody. Some situations affecting the child’s safety are more serious, such as if the other parent has developed a mental illness or a drug abuse problem. In instances like these, the modification request might be considered on an emergency basis. If you find yourself in this type of situation, do not hesitate. Contact us now so your child(ren) can be protected! For non-emergency situations, the Judge will have to consider the circumstances and how the child is affected.
- The Court finds that there is a “material change of condition affecting the welfare of the child since the last custody award.” The parent requesting modification must show that, “there is a material change that affects the welfare and happiness of the child, and that it is in the best interest of the child to change custody.”
Reasons the Court Will Allow a Custody Modification Hearing
There are a couple of special circumstances that immediately qualify for a child custody modification hearing in Georgia:
- The custodial parent moves. Additionally, parents must give each other a heads up if they plan to move. The custodial parent is responsible for giving anyone with visitation rights or court-ordered parenting time before he or she plans to move, along with the full address of the new residence.
- The child requests a change. This is applicable for children aged 14 or older who have been granted a request for change already within the last two years. The judge will heavily consider the child’s wishes but will only rule in their favor so long as other circumstances fall within the child’s best interests.
Contact Hall & Navarro, Georgia Child Custody Modification Attorneys
Don’t waste time when it comes to providing the best life for your children. If you are in need of child custody modification in Georgia, contact an experienced family law attorney. The family law attorneys at Hall & Navarro will provide clear, supportive representation for you and your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Case Law References:
Viskup v. Viskup, 291 Ga. 103, 105(2), 727 S.E.2d 97 (2012)
Lowry v. Winenger, 340 Ga.App. 382, 797 S.E.2d 230 (2017)
Burnham v. Burnham, 30 Ga. App. 348, 829 S.E.2 425 (2019)
Robinson v. Ashmore, 232 Ga. 498, 207 S.E.2d 484 (1974)
Durden v. Barron, 249 GA. 686, 290 S.E.2d 923 (1982)