Changing Child Custody After Divorce in Georgia
The child custody and visitation plan that worked for you at the time of your divorce may not be workable today. Things change, and when your child's best interests are at stake, you can seek a modification of your child custody and visitation order.
At The Siemon Law Firm, our custody lawyers are here to advise you and guide you through the legal process of obtaining a change in child custody or visitation in Georgia. With offices in Alpharetta, Cumming and Atlanta, we represent custodial and noncustodial parents throughout Northern Georgia.
It's important to obtain a court-ordered modification if you want to change child custody or visitation. If there is a dispute with your spouse, you could be found in contempt of court for not following a court order.
When Can I Change Make Changes to Custody Agreements in Georgia?
As a rule, the court believes in preserving a stable home environment for your child and will not modify an existing order without a good reason. The parent who wishes to change child custody or visitation must show that there has been a material change of condition that substantially affects the best interests of the child. You must provide evidence that this condition is new and did not exist at the time of the last order.
Examples of material changes that affect the best interests of your child include:
- A parent's conduct (such as drug use) endangers the child.
- The child is having problems at home or at school and these problems did not exist at the time of the last court order.
- Relocation of one or both parents.
- A job change results in a need for a different visitation schedule.
- An older child wishes to live with another parent.
In Georgia, upon reaching age 11, your child can tell the court where he or she wants to live. Every year older your child gets, the more weight the court will give your child's wishes. In the past, a child could decide upon reaching age 14. However, today the court has to make a finding that it is in the best interests of the child before child custody can be changed.
Contact Our Georgia Custody Modification Attorneys Today
If you are seeking to change child custody or visitation in Georgia, our lawyers are here to advise you. Please contact us today and arrange a personal, discreet and helpful consultation.