Modifying a Georgia divorce settlement may not be the simplest legal procedure, but it is easier than you might suspect. When it comes to post-decree modifications, many of the important arrangements of the divorce may be modified with a court-sanctioned order. Custody, visitation, child support, and alimony are some of the most common issues that require modification after an initial divorce settlement, and for good reason—as each spouse moves on in their separate lives, they will experience many changes to their schedules and circumstances.
We have helped clients through family law issues of all kinds. Divorce modifications are nothing new to our Paulding County divorce attorneys. Contact Henrickson & Sereebutra today at (770) 212-3313.
Modifying Custody and Visitation
Parents often make modifications to child custody and visitation when their schedule conflicts with the preexisting arrangement. Georgia courts usually require the spouses to submit parenting plans that outline their involvement with their children, including decision-making priorities and parenting schedules. To modify custody or visitation arrangements, parents must file a petition in a court of law.
Modifying visitation and parenting time is usually restricted to a two-year period, meaning these modifications can be made every two years. Unlike custody, visitation modifications may be petitioned without necessarily having to show a significant change in circumstances. This makes visitation modifications much more flexible than custody modifications because custody arrangements carry more responsibility.
When it comes to making changes to a custody agreement, the law will require more effort from parents. You must not only submit a petition but also demonstrate that a significant change in your family circumstance necessitates the modification. This is often necessary when one or more parents encounter changes in their occupation or living situation. In most cases, parents will have to submit a new parenting plan.
Modifying Child Support and Alimony
Support payments for children and spouses are a common choice for modifications in divorces. The purpose of child support is to meet the needs of children, and the purpose of spousal support is to meet protect the spouse from economic hardship after a divorce. These payments are usually modified when the child's needs change, or when the spouse's economic situation changes.
Child support payment modifications may increase or decrease the amount of payment, depending on the needs of the child. Child support changes are frequently subject to change as children grow older, or when family circumstances change. Petitioning for changes to child support usually requires the parent to show evidence of changes in the financial status and/or needs of the child.
Alimony payments may be modified when one or both spouses undergo significant economic changes. Like child support, spousal support may be increased or decreased to meet the individuals' changing circumstances. In some cases, such as when a spouse receiving alimony remarries or is no longer threatened by economic hardship, the support payments may be removed entirely.
Filing Your Petition for Modification in Court
Divorce settlements are not set in stone. The courts know the future is often unpredictable, and the law gives individuals many opportunities to modify divorce arrangements to fairly and equitably meet the needs of all parties involved. However, successfully obtaining these modifications is not as simple as filling out the paperwork. Your success depends on the effectiveness of your petition—to make a strong case and secure your future, you may need the assistance of a Paulding County divorce lawyer.
When it comes to making changes to divorce arrangements that could affect children, judges seek to make their decisions with the children's best interests in mind. In other situations, such as modifying a settlement of property division, judges expect the petitioning individuals to demonstrate ample justification for the change. At Henrickson & Sereebutra, our divorce attorneys in Paulding County treat divorce modifications with the same diligence and personalized care that we bring to all of our clients' cases.
Take charge of your future and schedule a free case evaluation with us today!