While all custody decisions in Georgia must be based on the best interests of the children, significant changes in the family dynamic over time can render what once was in the children’s best interests no longer applicable. Accordingly, local courts allow parents to modify custody arrangements when the circumstances warrant it.
If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on a new parenting time schedule, the court will have to evaluate the matter and decide whether to make any changes to your existing custody arrangement. Modifying a child custody arrangement to accommodate new circumstances can be made simple with the help of a skilled attorney on our team. Discuss your situation with a Cherokee County child custody modification lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and options.
In Cherokee County, local family courts will modify a custody arrangement when there is proof that a substantial change in circumstances has made an original custody schedule obsolete. In general, courts do not favor frequent changes to a custody order because it inhibits stability in the children’s lives and can lead to backups in the court system with cases that parents continue to relitigate. Not to mention, frequently returning to court to contest custody can become a massive financial burden for both parents.
If a parent wants to modify custody, they will have to demonstrate that something significant changed in the lives of the children or either parent. Some examples of substantial changes that might lead to a modification of custody include:
Children may also weigh in on custody modifications. If they are of a certain age and maturity level, the court will place more weight on their individualized preferences. A local lawyer can help parents determine their options for modifying a custody arrangement or visitation schedule.
When it comes to modifying a custody arrangement, showing that circumstances have changed is only the first requirement. The parent who wishes to modify custody will have to demonstrate that, given the change, a modification is in the children’s best interests. In other words, it is possible for a court to agree that there has been a substantial change in circumstances but decide that the original schedule still meets the interests of the child better than the proposed alternative.
Parents might also agree that a change did occur while having completely different ideas about the best modification of the current custody arrangement. The court could side with either party depending on what they believe to be the best option for the children.
Local courts base child support payments on parents’ income levels and their custody arrangement. If the court agrees to modify your custody order, they may also modify the amount of support you or your ex owe to cover child-related expenses.
For parents looking to amend their child-sharing schedule, it will be important to understand all of the potential ramifications of that decision. A Cherokee County attorney can help explain the potential implications of a custody modification in your case.
If you believe that your custody agreement no longer meets your family’s needs, you should consider modifying its terms to reflect your new circumstances. Making changes to a custodial arrangement may be challenging if you and the other parent are not in agreement, but one of our attorneys can advocate in court on your behalf that your children can benefit from a new schedule.
We advise against making unofficial changes to your parenting time schedule because the court cannot enforce those alterations if your ex fails to comply. Instead, you should file the appropriate documents with the appropriate court. A Cherokee County child custody modification lawyer at our firm can guide you through this process, so call today.