Georgia Modification of Child Custody and Visitation
Although court orders for child custody and visitation are final, they are subject to modification when a court finds there has been a material change in circumstances. That is to say, under certain circumstances, you can file a modification action to request that the court modify its order. Sometimes modifications are brought to change custody from one parent to the other parent, and other times modifications are brought to alter child support, visitation or both. In any event, a modification action can have serious legal implications on your parental rights. The Zdrilich Law Group can help protect your parental rights while preserving the best interests of your child or children.
Modification of Child Custody
If there’s been a significant change in circumstances related to custody, one parent can bring a modification of custody action. This might be the case if the parent with primary physical custody is no longer able to take care of the children due to issues related to illness, injury, a change in employment, a change in living arrangements, incarceration, addiction, or substance abuse. Depending upon the facts and circumstances, you may be able to file an emergency petition to expedite the hearing. Additionally, a child who is fourteen or older may make a custody election. These elections are no longer binding on the court, but they are highly persuasive where the court finds the election is otherwise in the best interest of the child.
Modification of Visitation
Modification actions are most commonly filed to alter the child support award or to tweak the visitation schedule. An action to alter a visitation schedule is usually due to a change in the children’s schedules. As children grow older, their schedules change due to school and involvement in extracurricular activities. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement and reduce it to writing, the issue of visitation must be decided by a judge.
Hiring an Attorney
An action to modify child custody, child support or visitation is a serious legal matter that can carry hefty implications. The Zdrilich Law Group can help protect your rights and preserve the best interests of your children. Contact our office today for a consultation.