How to Modify An Existing Child Custody Agreement?

How to Modify An Existing Child Custody Agreement?

If you wish to modify an existing child custody agreement, your modifications must be in the best interest of the child. After all, this is what the courts will consider when making any changes to an existing custody agreement.

Before heading to court, try to communicate with the other parent to see if they are open to making changes and reaching an agreement. However, if this is not possible, you may need to seek the assistance of an Atlanta family law attorney. Keep in mind that the court will consider the previous agreement and the current circumstances in making a decision, so your lawyer will need to gather evidence to support your request for modification.

How Do You Modify A Child Custody Agreement?

Modifying an existing custody arrangement in Georgia involves making changes to the current court order that governs the relationships between the parents and their children. This is not an easy or straightforward process. As such, the best way to protect your parenting rights is to contact an experienced Atlanta child custody attorney to guide you through the modification process.

Step 1: Determine if Modification is Necessary

Before starting the process of modifying a custody arrangement in Georgia, it is important to determine if a modification is necessary. A modification is necessary when there has been a significant change in the circumstances surrounding the case. Examples of changes that could justify a modification include a change in the living arrangements of one of the parents, the loss of a job, substance abuse, neglect, or a change in the needs of the child.

In Georgia, a child who is 14 or older gets to select the parent they wish to live with. This is considered a material change in condition and would warrant a modification of custody.

Step 2: File a Petition for Modification of Child Custody

If you meet the criteria for a child custody modification, the next step is to file a petition for modification of child custody. This petition requests the court to change the current custody arrangement. Generally, your lawyer will file this petition in the county where the other parent resides. However, there may be exceptions to thi.

Step 3: Prepare for the Hearing

Your lawyer will gather all relevant documents and evidence supporting your position in preparation for the hearing. This may include witnesses, financial records, and other documentation relevant to the case. Your attorney may also prepare a detailed argument explaining why the modification is necessary and is in the child’s best interest.

Step 4: Attend a Hearing

Once your child custody attorney files the petition for modification, the courts will schedule a hearing. At the hearing, both parents will have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony supporting their position. The court will consider all the evidence and decide based on the child’s best interest.

Modifying an existing custody arrangement in Georgia can be complicated, but with the right law firm on your side, you can achieve a successful outcome.

How Soon Can You Modify An Existing Child Custody Agreement in Georgia?

Unlike some states, you do not have to wait to modify a child custody agreement in Georgia. Anytime a material change in circumstances affects your child’s welfare, the courts will consider a modification. If it is an emergency, such as in cases of abuse, your lawyer can file an emergency petition for a change of custody.

Can You Modify Custody Without Going to Court?

If you and your ex can agree to the custody modification, you may not need to go to court to attend a hearing. However, the courts must approve any changes you make so that they’re legally binding and enforceable.

Will Custody Changes Affect Child Support?

In some cases, your custody changes will affect your child support agreement. The Georgia Division of Child Support Services will review the child support order and determine if support changes. Your attorney will be able to guide you through this process and make sure you have the money you need to care for your child after a child custody modification.

Contact Our Atlanta Child Custody Lawyers

At Hobson & Hobson, P.C., our Atlanta child custody attorneys can help you modify an existing child custody agreement. We work tirelessly to protect what you value most, including your parenting time and your family assets. From the start, our attorneys offer compassionate legal guidance to help you through this difficult time.

Call us at (770) 284-6153 or fill out our confidential contact form. We can set up a consultation so that you can review all your legal options. Our family law attorneys know that this is a difficult time. That’s why we’re here to help!

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