Modification of Child Custody and Visitation
Seasoned Cobb County Attorney Helping with Modifications to Child Custody and Visitation
Sometimes our needs change. Over time what might be best for your children might change as well. At the law office of F. Marian Weeks, we understand that dynamics and circumstances change and that a modification of child custody might become necessary. We are here to help.
If you have questions regarding a modification of child custody, please email us or call us at 770.884.6296 to schedule a free consultation.
Our firm takes great pride in guiding clients through the entire divorce process and assisting with any post-divorce matters that arise. We routinely help families throughout Cobb, Cherokee, and Paulding Counties with changing a court order or divorce agreement.
In general, modification of child custody can be sought under the following circumstances:
- If one parent decides to move out-of-state, he or she must notify the court and the non-custodial parent prior to any relocation. In essence, any proposed relocation will warrant a modification of the existing child custody arrangement. If you are considering moving with your child or if you have been informed that your former spouse is considering moving away with your child, we can help. We will work closely with you to learn about your situation and explain your legal options. We will then guide you toward the path that is most suitable for meeting your needs.
- If the custodial parent is no longer fit for custody, we can arrange for an emergency hearing to petition for a change in custody or visitation. The reasons a parent may be deemed unfit include mental or physical health issues, substance abuse issues or the presence of unsafe conditions for the child.
- The non-custodial parent can petition for a custody modification if they believe it is not in the child's best interests to remain with the custodial parent. Reasons may include the custodial parent's working hours have changed or their travel demands have increased, problems in school attendance/tardiness, the development of emotional or behavioral problems, or a parent's new partner severely disrupting the child's life.
Please note, if the child is between 11 and 14, he or she may choose to speak with the judge and voice their choice regarding the parent with whom they wish to reside. The judge may take this choice under advisement, but is under no obligation to follow it. If the child is older than 14, they have the right to make an election, and the judge will give this preference strong consideration. However, the overriding concern of the judge when considering child custody modification is always what is in the best interests of the child.
In certain cases, the court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to represent the child and their best interests. The GAL is a neutral third party who reports back to the judge about circumstances at home and school after speaking with teachers, therapists, physicians, psychologists and other parties. The role of the GAL is to provide the judge with information to help them make a final determination regarding a proposed modification of child custody or visitation.
In addition to assisting with modifications to child custody, we can also help you increase or decrease visitation/parenting time. Please feel free to email us or call 770.884.6296 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation with family law lawyer F. Marian Weeks.