When the Georgia family courts approve a parenting plan or create a custody order, they expect both parents to abide by the order. From the general breakdown of your parenting time to the way that you handle birthdays and holidays, the plan will include numerous details that dictate when you spend time with your children and what role you play in their lives.
The goal is usually to create a plan that will be as effective as possible for as long as possible. Parents will always have to make occasional adjustments to their parenting plans when unusual circumstances arise. However, sometimes they find themselves making changes weekly for the same issues.
One parent may also worry that the children don’t have their needs properly met or that they witness too much conflict because of the outdated custody order. When is it possible to go back to court and ask a judge for a formal custody modification?
Your situation must meet a specific standard
In custody cases in Georgia, what is best for the children is always the top consideration. Judges should do their best to create parenting plans that really prioritize the current and future needs of the children. When one parent wants to adjust the existing parenting plan, they need to show that their circumstances warrant court time.
Typically, there needs to be a material change in circumstances for the courts to grant a modification hearing. For the parent to succeed in their request, they usually need to show that the changes their family has undergone mean that the children’s needs are not being met or that the situation has somehow become unsafe for them.
Showing that your ex has consistently left the children unsupervised could be one means of convincing the courts that a modification limiting their parenting time would be necessary. Documentation helping to support your claims will be necessary if you hope to convince the courts to act.
Uncontested modifications are also sometimes an option
Occasionally, parents agree with one another that an adjustment to their current parenting plan is necessary. If that is true of your situation, possibly because of a change to your schedule or the other parents’ job, then it may be possible to request an uncontested modification so that your parenting plan reflects how you currently divide responsibilities for your children.
Educating yourself about the rules that apply to custody litigation in Georgia will help you be a better advocate for yourself and your relationship with your children.