As a citizen of the United States, every person is granted several rights, including rights as a parent and rights to your own child or children. Even after divorce, the law provides enough space for changes in a custody modification case in Georgia, for parents who are looking to change the terms and conditions of their divorce decree. If you are such a parent, you need to know what your rights are and how divorce decrees and custody agreements can be updated over time.
Over time, it is highly possible that your life will change in several ways that may impact your current arrangement with an ex-partner over the care and custody of your child. This can be impacted by changing employment opportunities, moving to another county or region, personal life changes, or new concerns about the well-being of your child.
There are several options for parents under the law; However, legal requirements and due processes must be followed. This is because any breach of your divorce decree or custody arrangements is categorized as law-breaking, and may lead to consequences.
How a Custody Modification Case in Georgia Works:
If you are looking to modify the custody arrangements of your child, you should be prepared to go to court or consult a professional mediator. This is essential because only a court can provide a legal order that both parties must comply with, as was the case of your original divorce and custody case.
Furthermore, it is highly possible that the co-parent might have reservations against all or some of the changes, and these must be carefully mediated and discussed. In a court, a final decision will be made, keeping in mind the following two elements of a custody modification case in Georgia:
The Parents’ Interests:
The parent who forwards the petition for a custody modification must prove that substantial changes in their life call for changes in custody agreements; such as changes in employment, residential address, the distance between both parents’ residences, and other concerns. Usually, minor concerns are not enough, and proof of substantial changes must be presented in court to strengthen your case.
The Child’s Interests:
Court decisions about child custody agreements, for minor children, are decided upon under the standard of the child’s best interests, to ensure that the child is kept in the best possible conditions, both financially and emotionally. If your current custody agreement is no longer in the best interests of your child, then you have a solid case for modifications in custody.
These must be proven in court or through mediation. However, it is important to remember that the child’s best interests hold priority over the parent’s interests, and even if you have a strong case in terms of your own interests, the concerns of the child come first.
Legal Due Process for Custody Modification Cases in Georgia:
In most cases, due legal processes mean that you will have to go to court and defend your case before the law. In custody cases, it is also common for judges to order participation in mediation to sort out issues between ex-partners or other parties on the custody, child support, and other living arrangements of a child.
If mediation fails or if the case comes to court, the following processes are considered:
- The petitioner, or the parent pursuing changes in custody agreements, must present adequate and substantial proof of major changes that affect current arrangements, and also ensure that any recommended changes are in the best interests of the child as well.
- The respondent, or the co-parent, will also be given a full opportunity to defend their current custody and child support arrangements. In order to continue with the status quo, they must contest the need and validity of any modifications and also protect the best interests of the child.
Upon careful consideration of evidence and supporting documents, a judge will make a final decision at a hearing to finalize any modifications. Even if all changes are incorporated, other considerations may face some modifications as well; such as child financial support, visitation times and allowances, special permissions, etc.
Protect Your Child With an Experienced Attorney:
The legal requirements and issues that come with a custody modification case can demand a lot from you, and an experienced child custody attorney can help protect your child as well as your rights. For a custody modification case in Georgia, our team of uncontested divorce attorneys can help protect your interests and in a fast and easy way with minimum hassle. For support in the courtroom, contact us today.