Custody Modification in Georgia: What’s Involved & Why You Need an Attorney


Navigating custody battles is a difficult process for parents to endure. Without proper guidance, legal or procedural mistakes are easy to commit. Taking the risk of committing such mistakes is not worth it, as they could impact your parental rights.

Hiring a lawyer who understands how to properly modify visitation, parenting time rights and custody orders is paramount. 

Before a court enters such orders, you must submit a comprehensive parenting plan. Facets the plan must detail includes a detailed schedule, a plan of action for making joint decisions and a proposal for handling the children’s transport. A plan may be submitted by each parent, or it may be submitted jointly.

Parents may subsequently seek to modify an order issued by the court. There are two major steps in the modification process. First, a parent must prove that there has been a material change. Second, they must demonstrate to the court that the modification is in the child’s best interests.

In Georgia, there are different requirements with respect to modifying visitation or parenting time and modifying a custody order. It’s crucial that you have a family law expert who is keenly aware of these requirements.

The different requirements that govern the modification of visitation or parenting time and a custody order are outlined below.

Modifying Visitation and Parenting Time

A parent gets one opportunity to modify visitation and parenting time every two years after an order is issued. Importantly, the parent requesting the modification does not have to demonstrate a material life change.

Modifying a Custody Order

There are stricter requirements with respect to modifying a custody order. Indeed, a parent can only seek to modify a custody order if a material life change has occurred since the time the order was initially issued.

What is a Material Life Change?

There is no specific definition of a material life change. Examples of a material life change range from one parent relocating, to a decline in a child’s academic performance. Ultimately, a judge will determine if a life change constitutes a material life change. Therefore, it is crucial to seek the aid of experienced legal counsel, to ensure a change in your life calls for a modification. 

Modifications Requested by the Child

Under Georgia law, a child who is 14 or older can request a change of custodial parent. The judge will heavily consider the child’s preference, but reserves the right to determine what aligns with the best interests of the child. 

Contact Us

Contact O’Driscoll Keller Law Group, LLC for assistance with your child custody or other family law matters. We have the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain a positive case outcome for you and your family. There is no room for taking a risk with inexperienced counsel throughout your family law matters. Our attorneys serve as compassionate and aggressive advocates.

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