If you are facing a child custody modification case, this is not a time to gamble away one of the most crucial times of your life with inexperienced and untested attorneys.
Call us now at 770-609-1247 to speak with an experienced Georgia child custody modification attorney.
Child custody modifications are granted with considerations to what is in the best interest of the child(ren) in terms of custodial arrangements. In order to file for a modification of child custody both of the parties involved will have to file either jointly or separately a parenting plan. The parenting plan for the modification of custody should include: a parenting schedule, decision making authority, transportation during visitation, and communication/types of communication during visitation.
Modifications of child custody can occur in numerous circumstances and are generally granted due to necessity or a significant change that must affect the child’s best interest. A modification of child custody may only take place in the event of family circumstance change and may be heard before a two year waiting period if the circumstance in question is considered an emergency. Please that modifications to the amount or type of parenting time are not considered a part of a child custody modification and these types of modifications may be made once in a two year period immediately following a final order in a case- this does not require a change in circumstances.
Reasons why a child custody modification may be granted can be varied but may result from, a change of residence by either parent that may be harmful to the child, a child of the age of 14 choosing to change residence with a non-custodial parent, or any situation that may not be in the child’s best interest involving a parent exposing children to an inappropriate accommodation, living situation, mental health condition, safety issues, illegal substances, or cohabitation with unmarried or random individuals. Whether or not a case could be granted should be discussed with legal counsel as the decision to pursue a child custody modification may have drastic and lasting implications to child custody.
The most common reason for a modification hearing to be heard is due to a residential change of a parent during a relocation process through employer or due to necessity of a residential change due to remarriage, family ties, pursuit of employment, or better living circumstances. During a change of residence the parent intending to relocate must inform the other parent about the change of residence providing both thirty days’ notice prior to the move and the full address for the new place of residence. Modifications that may alter current custodial arrangements in relation to relocation are those that may alter a child’s standard of living, may sufficiently decrease visitation time, or any that may alter a child’s current ability to receive needed assistance or break from familiar relationship ties.
The second most common reason for a modification of custody to take place is that a child over the age of 14 has determined that they want to live with the non-custodial parent. Children as young as 11 years old, in the state of Georgia, may determine a preference for a custodial parent, but a child 14 years of age or older may exercise a choice of custodial parent so long as the choice appears to be in the child’s best interest and appears to not be forced. A Judge in this circumstance may choose to approve or deny a move based on the presentation of evidence at trial, whether an older sibling is currently residing with the non-custodial parent, and whether the change of residence appears to provide a better living situation. Additional reasons why a modification hearing may need to be heard are because a significant improvement to the non-custodial parents living, home, or health situation has warranted a change of circumstance by providing a more suitable home or standard of care that would act in the best interest of the child(ren).
Modifications of custody may either be considered permanent like those mentioned previously or may be temporary in nature. In temporary modifications an alteration of custody could be made for a trial period i.e. if a judge grants for a child to try and live with a non-custodial parent for 6 months or if a judge orders for the custody of a parent to change during the course of a treatment program, living situation change, or during extended travels. It is important for parents to make alterations to child custody orders that may alter custodial arrangements so that either party is protected from accusations regarding contempt or child abandonment. The most common forms of temporary modifications occur with military families and deployments. During a deployment a deploying parent has the obligation to the child to denote a temporary modification for the duration of the deployment. In order to prepare for the modification the deploying parent must give two weeks’ notice to the other parent unless the deployment is less than two weeks away – in these types of instances notice must be given to the other parent immediately.
All types of temporary modifications to child custody permit for allowances of visitation, communication, communication type, and transitions for when the original custodial arrangements are re-established. Temporary child custody modifications may even be extended to family members that maintain a close relationship with the child—this means that a child may continue to live with a grandparent or stepparent during a deployment or during a period in which the custodial arrangements are altered by the court. It is important to note that in most circumstances the courts will not make temporary changes permanent until a 90 day period following a parents return from deployment, treatment program, etc. — note if an additional motion is not filed to reverse the change 90 days following the temporary circumstance than the court may make the change permanent or to continue in the child’s best interest.
Georgia Areas We Serve
Our Georgia lawyers and attorneys handle cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Marietta, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Midtown Atlanta, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Kennesaw, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Smyrna, Buford, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Decatur, Grant Park, East Atlanta and the Virginia Highlands.
Our Georgia lawyers and attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.
Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia lawyers practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Estates, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Bankruptcy, Business Law and Immigration. We have offices conveniently located at:
North Point Park
5755 North Point Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map
1200 Abernathy Road
Northpark Town Center
Atlanta, GA 30328
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11555 Medlock Bridge Rd
Johns Creek, GA 30097
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125 TownPark Drive
Kennesaw, GA 30144
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