Modification of Custody, Visitation, Child Support, and Alimony

Modification of Custody & Visitation

A modification of custody requires a showing by the parent that files the lawsuit that there has been a material change of circumstances affecting the welfare of the child since the last order, and that it is in the child’s “best interest” for the non-custodial parent to be awarded custody.

The parent’s visitation or the parenting plan may be changed at any time the parent requesting the change can make the same “material change of circumstances” showing mentioned before.  The parent’s visitation or the parenting plan may also be change once in every 2 year period since the filing of the last order if there is no material change of circumstances.

Relocation of a parent, alienation, abuse and neglect, substance abuse, and the child attaining the age of 14 and expressing an election for the non-custodial parent,  have all been designated by the courts as “material changes of circumstance” warranting an examination by the court of the best interest of the child and the custody/visitation arrangement.  Dodie Sachs and Danielle Mays have experience litigating all of the above issues and know how to effectively navigate these serious cases.

Modification of Child Support

After an award of child support, the child support amount cannot be modified unless there is a substantial change of circumstances in the financial situation of the parties or in the needs of the child since the last support award.

Health insurance, extracurricular and school expenses, other qualified children in the home, extraordinary medical needs, and other situations must be considered in calculating the child support award. A party’s financial situation can be complex. Danielle Mays and Dodie Sachs are experienced in investigating and evaluating the parties’ individual finances and calculating the non-custodial party’s child support obligation using the Georgia Child Support Guidelines and Worksheet.

Modification of Alimony

An alimony award may not always be modified. Whether or not an alimony award may be modified depends on the alimony clause in the settlement agreement or court order, and whether there has been a material change of circumstances since the prior order. Since alimony may be modified only on a case-by-case basis, schedule an initial consultation with Dodie Sachs or Danielle Mays to determine your rights.

You need an attorney for a modification.

Each type of modification has different rules about when a modification can be filed, and what circumstances have to be present before a modification can be filed.  Each type of modification has different rules about what county a modification can be filed in.  This is a very complicated area of family law, and it is important that you hire an experienced, knowledgable attorney.  Contact Dodie Sachs or Danielle Mays, for a consultation.