A child support or custody order may make sense at the time it is finalized; however, circumstances may change. For example, a parent may experience a significant change in income; remarry; or need to relocate. Any of these circumstances may necessitate a petition to change your court order. Should this be the case, our experienced Georgia custody modification lawyers are here to discuss how we can assist with your case.
If the other party is intentionally refusing to pay their court ordered child or spousal support obligation or interfering with your time with the children, you can seek remedies from the court. Intentionally denying support or visitation is a violation of a court order, which may result in the other parent being held in contempt of court. The consequences of being found in contempt could include fines; suspension of a driver’s license or other state-issued licenses; wage garnishment or other financial penalties; jail time; or being forced to pay the other parent’s attorney fees.
There are certain legal defenses to an action for contempt that can be raised. The experienced attorneys at Syrop & Ingle are well versed in the law and can assist you with reviewing your case to see if any applicable defenses are available.
Georgia law permits parents to change their custody orders without a showing of significant and material change in circumstances once every two years. If you seek to modify your custody order more often than every two years, you must be able to show a significant and material change in circumstances that impacts the child’s best interest.
Either party may file a formal petition to change the custody order. Some of the many factors a court may consider in a suit for modification of custody or visitation are the child’s age, needs, school attendance and performance, financial stability of the parents, changes in a parent’s marital status, changes in a parent’s mental health status as well as many other issues that relate to the child’s best interest.
As time passes, a child’s needs may change. The same can hold true for the parents’ income or financial status. Should this occur, a modification of child support may be necessary. The parent paying child support may seek a downward modification should he or she suffer a loss of income or if the custodial parent has a substantial increase in income. Likewise, the custodial parent may seek an upward modification of child support if the parent paying support has a substantial increase in income or financial status or is spending less time with the child than set forth in the parenting plan.
Similar to child support, spousal support may be modified as well. The court will examine any changes in the parties’ circumstances and make a determination as to whether a modification is warranted.
Any modification of a prior court must be done via a new court order. An agreement reached between parties must be incorporated into an order of the court in order to be valid and enforceable.
The attorneys at Syrop & Ingle will gladly meet with you to review your current situation and help you determine whether a modification action of your prior custody, visitation or support order is right for you and your family. To learn more or tell us about your case, call us today at (770)425-0027 or send us an email.
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.