Peachtree City and Newnan Attorney Advises on Family Law Modifications
Determined representation in actions to alter existing court orders
A court order that serves your purposes today might be oppressive, unfair, and counterproductive tomorrow if circumstances change. When a bend in the road sets you on a different course, it might be time to adjust your order for child support, child custody or alimony. Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law represents parties seeking and opposing revisions to family court orders. My firm, located in Peachtree City and Newnan, negotiates adjustments to existing terms and draft motions for modifications when agreement cannot be reached. Drawing on more than 30 years of family court experience, I assert your right to a resolution that fairly reflects the current situation.
Revising a child custody order in Georgia
Children grow, and so their needs and desires change. Parents must also deal with what life throws at them, which can include setbacks, advances and new opportunities. So, if you believe your parenting plan are out of date, you can request a change.
To get a modification of a child custody order, you must prove the following two elements:
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances
- The requested change would be in the best interest of your child
Substantial change can mean many things, including:
- A custodial parent who wants to move a significant distance away
- A parent overcoming or developing a substance abuse problem
- A change in the child’s school
- The arrest off a parent
- Cohabitating with a new partner
- Having a child struggle emotionally or developmentally under the existing program
A request to change custody could also come from a child who has reached 14 years of age. The court will listen to the child’s reasons for wanting a certain custody arrangement but still might deny the change if they believe it is not in the youth’s best interests. Should a significant change to the parenting time plan be granted, it can prompt a commensurate adjustment to your child support terms.
Requesting a modification of a child support order
Parents must also show a substantial change in circumstances when requesting a modification of child support. Reasons why a paying parent might request a lowering of the obligation include:
- Prolonged unemployment
- Business failure
Reasons a recipient parent might demand more in support include:
- Substantial loss in their own income, due to unemployment, illness, or disability
- Substantial increase in the supporting parent’s income
- Increase in the cost required to meet children’s needs
Any loss in income must be involuntary. A parent cannot deliberately earn less money to lessen their child support obligation. Until a court issues a new order, unpaid child support accumulates and can trigger enforcement actions. Therefore, parents who are unable to pay support should request modifications as soon as possible.
Modifying alimony in Georgia
Either party can request a change in alimony once every two years based on a substantial change in financial circumstances for either party. One frequently cited reason is that the alimony recipient has entered into a cohabitating relationship with a romantic partner who provides financial support. You cannot request an alimony adjustment if you have received a lump sum payment or if your divorce decree states the award is not modifiable.
Contact a thorough Georgia lawyer to discuss modifications of family court orders
Thomas F. Tierney, Attorney at Law in Peachtree City and Newnan represents Georgia clients in motions to modify child custody, child support and alimony orders. For a consultation regarding your potential revision, call 770-796-4031 or contact my office online.