Post-Order Modifications Attorney in Newnan
Newnan lawyer assists clients seeking changes in child support, custody or alimony
All families change over time. As their needs and goals change, legal action may be necessary to make sure that existing court orders evolve to meet new family requirements. What was suitable to the parties at the time of the divorce may no longer work as jobs change, children age and parents remarry. The Law Office of S. Mark Mitchell, LLC helps families obtain appropriate modifications to child support, child custody, visitation, time sharing and alimony. I also address relocation issues when parents move into or out of Georgia.
Process of changing child support, alimony or child custody orders
The modification process generally starts by filing a petition for modification with the court that issued the original order. Another court may have jurisdiction if either parent has moved since the divorce.
Modifications of child custody or time sharing, child support or alimony often require proof that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Substantial changes can be as simple as a greater financial need or an increase in income or may include other altered circumstances, such as a parent’s relocation over a far distance.
For child support and custody modifications, the court will also need proof that the modification is in the best interest of the child. Judges examine several factors to decide whether the proposed modification meets the child’s physical, medical, emotional and social needs.
Modifying child custody orders in Georgia
Both legal and physical child custody can be modified. Physical custody pertains to where the child lives. You might have sole physical custody or may have joint physical custody with your former spouse. Legal custody, which is usually held jointly, means a parent’s right to have a say on major decisions affecting the child’s well-being, such as education, religion and social activities.
In determining whether the proposed modification of custody is in the best interest of your child, a judge may consider these factors:
- Who is the primary caregiver to the child?
- Which parent is closer to the child’s school, doctors, and friends?
- Who is more closely bonded with the child?
- Which parent provides the most financial support?
- Which parent does the child want to live with?
Modifying child support orders in Georgia
Modifications of child support orders require proving a substantial or material change in circumstances and that the best interest of the child will be served. However, obtaining a modification of child support can be a bit more numbers-based and more complicated to calculate as circumstances change.
Often, modifications of child support take place if one or both parents get a new job and have a different monthly income than they did when the initial order was entered. Or perhaps one parent — discovering that the other parent did not report a portion of their income — wants the court to recalculate child support, taking the added resources into account. Sometimes, a child may have higher medical expenses or special needs that a parent believes the court should consider.
Modifying alimony orders in Georgia
In Georgia, either former spouse is eligible to file a petition for modification of alimony with the court, subject to these eligibility requirements:
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances
- The alimony was not received in a one-time, lump-sum payout
- The petitioner did not waive their right to seek alimony modifications in the divorce decree
Alimony modifications can increase or decrease the amount of alimony to be paid.
Serving as an advocate for your family
I advocate for your rights in court to help you get the child support and child custody modifications you and your children need, guiding you through the often difficult procedures to get results. I also help families with domestication of foreign or out-of-state judgments, which means obtaining court orders that allow Georgia to treat an order from another state as its own. Domestication of judgments for matters like child support and visitation can be especially useful when families with children move into or out of the state.
Providing families with individualized legal assistance
When you bring your modification case to my family law firm, I review your goals with you. Then I examine the existing agreements between you and your ex-spouse or child’s parent. Together we can set realistic, achievable objectives to bring before the Georgia family court judge. Whether you are seeking an adjustment in your spousal or child support, are looking to adjust your visitation schedule or are attempting to become the primary custodian of your children, I can help.
Contact an experienced family law attorney
At the Law Office of S. Mark Mitchell, LLC in Newnan, I serve clients throughout Georgia in family law matters, including divorce, child support and child custody. Call me at 470-344-8550 or contact me online to schedule a consultation.