As families and children change and grow, so do their needs. As a result, the child custody agreement that you formed during your divorce may no longer benefit your family’s situation.

In Atlanta, parenting plans are not set in stone, so either parent can seek a change to their child-sharing plan with the help of a dedicated child custody attorney if circumstances warrant it. An experienced Atlanta child custody modification lawyer can present an altered parenting plan to the court and work to have it legally changed on your behalf.

Legal Custody Versus Physical Custody

Physical custody and legal custody are two separate terms under Atlanta law. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-41(14), physical custody is the supervision and physical care of a child.

Conversely, having legal custody grants a parent the right to make significant, long-term choices for their children. Additionally, a parent who lacks legal custody can still make some decisions for their kids’ welfare when they are in their physical custody.

Furthermore, parents who are allowed to spend time with their children may have physical custody of them only on certain days. They would be authorized to make emergency decisions for the care and health of their kids while they are with them. Having physical custody also implies that a parent can make day-to-day decisions about food, playtime, and bedtime while their children are in their care.

Motion for Modification

Parents may request to file a motion for a change in their current parenting plan. Per O.C.G.A. §19-9-3(b), petitions for an alteration to a child-sharing arrangement may be appropriate when there has been a material change in the lives of the family or children.

Petitions for changes to a parenting schedule may only be requested once every two years. A capable Atlanta attorney can file a request for a modified custodial order for a parent who thinks it might be necessary to do so.

Modifications Requested by Children

Atlanta courts let older children weigh in on how a child custody modification should be formed. Alternatively, kids might also request that no changes be made, and the court could deem that consistency is most appropriate.

After a child reaches the age of 14, O.C.G.A. §19-9-3(a)(5) allows them to decide on the parent with whom they want to primarily live. However, a judge might deny their request if they believe that their decision is not in their best interests.

After children turn 11, they can begin to participate in child custody proceedings, as Atlanta courts can order temporary custody of a young person. Accordingly, kids of this age may request that the court alter their current custody order. A seasoned lawyer in Atlanta would have experience with changes to a parenting plan initiated by a young person.

Contact an Atlanta Child Custody Modification Attorney Today

If you are in need of an altered parenting plan that better suits your circumstances, contact a skilled legal professional for help. An adept Atlanta child custody modification lawyer can file a petition with the court so that you can have a new parenting time decree. Reach out to our intake team today to learn more about your options.

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