CLAYTON COUNTY CHILD CUSTODY MODIFICATION LAWYERS HELPING YOU MAKE ADJUSTMENTS
Child custody orders lay out important information on who can make decisions about the children and how the physical time will be split between the parents. These orders are carefully considered by both parties and the court to ensure that they represent the needs and interests of the children. But as children grow and situations change, these orders often need to be modified. Find out how this happens and what you need to know below.
If you believe that a change to your child custody order is in the best interests of your children, we can help. When you work with Lunn Law LLC, you get an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand what the options are for a child custody modification and how to start the process.
WHAT ARE SOME REASONS TO CHANGE A CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENT ORDER?
In general, the courts don’t like to change an existing child custody order unless there is a compelling reason and the current order is no longer in the children’s best interests. Here are a few common reasons that a modification of child custody may be considered:
- Abuse or neglect on either party’s part
- A significant change of circumstances in the custodial parent’s life makes them unable to care for the children
- Substance abuse
- A change in the child’s medical or educational needs
It’s important to talk to a custody modification lawyer before proceeding with a child custody modification filing because many people believe that they have a compelling reason for a change when the courts are likely to disagree. Talking with family law attorneys beforehand can ensure that you understand what is needed and are ready to go forward with your case.
HOW DO I REQUEST A CHANGE TO LEGAL AND PHYSICAL CUSTODY?
If you want to change a custody order, you need to speak with an attorney. It may be possible to get the other parent to agree to the child custody arrangement change, which can drastically simplify and expedite the process of getting an updated court order. However, this isn’t always possible. If the other parent doesn’t want to agree to the change, you’ll need to file a motion with the family courts to request a modification to your court order.
You will need to provide specific reasons why the requested change is in the best interests of the children in your motion. An attorney can help ensure that your filing is done appropriately and with all of the necessary information. They can also provide counsel on what happens if the other parent contests the motion or the judge decides not to grant the request.
WHAT CAN I DO IF THE JUDGE DENIED MY MODIFICATION REQUEST?
Judges generally have the final word when it comes to child custody modifications, but there are some situations in which you can appeal. If you don’t agree with the judge’s decision, you can file an official appeal. Keep in mind that you will need to show specific reasons for why you believe the judge’s decision wasn’t the right one — and not liking it doesn’t count. In general, you have to show that the judge didn’t take into consideration relevant evidence or made another egregious error.
DOES CHANGING CUSTODY TRIGGER A CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION?
In some cases, changing a custody agreement can also trigger a child support modification, but this doesn’t always happen. In general, the custody change would need to be significant, such as changing who is named the custodial parent and who has primary physical custody or significantly changing the parenting time split. It’s important to ask your attorney how any change in a custody order could also affect your child support order. It’s possible that there will be no change to the child support amount, but going from receiving to paying child support, for example, is a significant financial change you need to be prepared for before considering a custody agreement change.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK A CHILD CUSTODY MODIFICATION LAWYER IN GEORGIA?
Meeting with a child custody modification attorney for a consultation can be a good way to get a better understanding of how the firm approaches cases and gives you a chance to ask questions. Here are some questions to add to your list before your first meeting:
- How have you approached child custody order modifications like this before?
- What happens if the other parent fights the change of custody arrangement request?
- If this change is approved, how will it affect my child support?
- What kind of documentation should I be keeping to support my motion?
Modifying a child custody order is possible, but it can be a complex process. Call our law offices at 770-762-4628 to find out more about the child custody modification process, what you will need to get started, and how we can help in modifying your child custody agreement.