Modification of Child Custody
Once the Court issues a final Order in a case involving child custody, the only way to modify or change the Order is via another Order from the Court. A party interested in changing custody can file a Petition for Modification of Custody. Custody modifications frequently involve many complex issues. The Wise Law Firm has successfully handled hundreds of cases involving custody modifications and we are committed to helping every client navigate through the complicated steps of their modification case. The Wise Law Firm was founded on the concept of openly communicating with our clients in a timely manner to ensure that each client feels informed about the progression of their child custody matter. The members of the Firm recognize that communication and accessibility help alleviate some of the stress associated with child custody conflicts.
The following summary of Georgia's laws governing the modification of custody provides some basic information about the process in Georgia.
In Georgia, a party can modify an original custody Order if there has been a significant change in circumstances effecting the minor child. In making its determination, the Court will consider what is in the child's best interests. There are several situations that may occur that could result in a change of custody. Relocation of the primary parent to another state or county, for example, is oftentimes considered a material change in circumstances that may result in a change in custody. Another example of a possible basis for a modification is when an older child decides that they want to live with the other parent. The non-custodial parent might petition the Court to modify custody based on the child's wishes. However, the Court will weigh all the evidence and make a determination as to whether or not changing custody would be in the child's best interest.
In contested custody cases, it is not uncommon for the Court to appoint an attorney to represent the child in the litigation. This attorney is called a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). The purpose of the GAL is to provide representation for the child and to assist the Judge in determining whether a change of custody is in the child's best interest. Prior to the GAL making a recommendation to the Court, the GAL will review the case file, meet with the parties and the child, perform home visits to both parents' residences, and interview witnesses such as teachers, therapists or doctors.
Please contact the Wise Law Firm if you have any questions about your particular modification of custody situation or if you would like to schedule a free consultation.
The Wise Law Firm serves families and individuals all over Georgia, including but not limited to the following counties: Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton and Paulding.
DISCLAIMER: It is very important to recognize that laws can change regularly and the information on this site is meant to be a general overview and may not reflect the most recent changes to Georgia family law.