The short answer is “yes,” although it can be a complicated subject. There are several key factors to consider when deciding whether changing your child support or custody agreement is the right decision for your situation. There are a variety of situations that may be cause for adjustment, such as changes in incomes or relocation of a parent. If you are contemplating the best course of action or are ready to file, Platt Family Law is here to help guide your family through your individual situation.
Circumstances That Warrant Adjustments
Divorce can be difficult, even in amicable situations, as your familial unit experiences a significant change. While these situations can breed a myriad of feelings and tension, it is important to remember that the court discourages re-examining cases where they do not see reasonable cause for modifications. For example, being dissatisfied with the original order is not an acceptable reason for adjustment.
Given all of the complicated sentiments that can surround divorce proceedings, it can be best to have reliable representation that will knowledgeably advocate for you through the Georgia court system. There are key life events and circumstances that warrant revision of original child support or custody arrangements.
Changing Child Support Contributions
In Georgia, child support law supports providing a child, or children, with a financially consistent and stable homelife. Often, these arrangements will be structured with the parent with the larger income making payments to the other. Custodial and visitation agreements can also factor into which parent will receive payments. Typically, adjustments are not made to child support without being prompted outside the cost of living changes. However, when one party experiences a substantial change in income, this can be a good reason to modify the original agreement.
Significant financial hardship or prosperity — of either party — may entitle the other to receive or pay more or less money. Additionally, as your child’s needs change, payments to the custodial parent may change to reflect expenses such as:
- Health, such as medical expenses
- Education, such as school supplies or tuition
- Extracurricular activities, such as after-school sports or club fees
Changes to the custody agreement may also alter the initial child support arrangements.
Changing a Child Custody Agreement
There are a variety of circumstances that may require changes to be made to the original child custody or visitation agreement. Relocation, changes in a parent’s financial status, or the child choosing to live with a different parent are all common causes for modifications being made. For example, if the custodial parent relocated out of the county they lived in at the time of the divorce proceedings, the change in distance will impact the visitation of the non-custodial parent who remains in the original county. Other times, reasons for changing terms of a custody or visitation agreement arise when there is the potential of child endangerment or the failure to comply with the existing schedule. In these situations, it is the court’s priority to ensure the best setting for the child or children. At the end of the day, the goal of Georgia’s child support and custody laws is to provide the welfare of the safe-being of all children involved.
Permanent and Temporary Changes
The time period that the adjustment is valid is also something to be aware of. Some changes may be temporary, while others are permanent. In a temporary adjustment to either child support to child custody, the court imposes time limits on the permitted changes. In many cases, you are able to re-obtain the necessary changes to the original divorce order if circumstances have not changed at the adjustment’s expiry. With permanent changes, there is no need to refile for the changes to continue to be upheld. Our team of attorneys can guide you through the initial adjustment process, as with any subsequent filings.
Making the Best Decision for Your Family
Regardless of if your divorce was uncontested and amicable, the process and proceeding changes can be difficult on any family. Where there are children involved, it is always best to keep their well-being at the center of attention. Ultimately, cooperating and handling any adjustments professionally and respectfully is always the best choice.
Having legal representation can take a lot of the stress off and offer an expert perspective. Remaining level-headed and focused on maintaining the most harmonious outcome for your family possible is critical. Setting additional boundaries, remaining consistent with post-divorce best practices and ensuring any issues do not impact your children may also be necessary to have a successful divorce.
Understanding the Process of Divorce
The process of, and the period following, divorce can be a complicated experience. However, you are not alone: around 50% of married U.S. couples eventually divorce. Whether you are in the process of filing a divorce, considering amending an existing agreement or experiencing an extreme change in life, we can fill in the gaps and get you through the proceedings. You will not have to worry about being overwhelmed with learning and traversing child support and child custody law. Instead, you can focus your time and energy on helping your family transition and thrive.
You Deserve a Law Firm You Can Trust
No matter where you are in the process, we are here to help lead the way. We know everyone’s circumstances are different and that circumstances change. Our team understands the variety of circumstances that guide every family as they continue after divorce. At Platt Family Law, we have diversified experience in divorce law and understand the nuances to best navigate within Georgia’s legal system. We are dedicated to reaching the best outcome for you and your family. If you are considering filing for an adjustment to your divorce order, we are available to aid you along the way. To schedule an appointment and learn more about your options, call us at 404-255-3434 or fill out the contact form on our website.