Divorce Modifications

Learn How To Change Many Of The Terms Of Your Divorce Settlement

Divorce modifications for child support, spousal support, child custody and visitation. Divorce modifications can be a game changer! Things in life do change, and some may spur you to seek modifications to your divorce settlement agreement. Common divorce modification petitions filed are to amend the terms for child support payments, child custody or visitation, and spousal support or alimony payments.

Settlement modifications such as child custody can be difficult to have altered, while support payments may be easier to have changed when you can show a chronic hardship.

Time Requirements To File Modifications

Divorce modifications usually are over money or children.You can file for divorce modifications shortly after your divorce decree is issued however; it would not be a smart move. Post-divorce modifications usually are not attempted until at least one to two years after the divorce is final. Moving forward you can file for divorce modifications only as soon as two years from the date of your last filing. There are three exceptions to this rule.

  1. Divorce modification is based on an involuntary loss of income
  2. Non-custodial parent has failed to exercise visitation granted in court order
  3. Non-custodial parent has exercised more visitation than granted in court order

Reasons To Request Modifications

Financial conditions are probably the most common cause for persons to file for divorce modification. Financial considerations are the key factors in child support modifications or spousal support modifications. Custody and visitation modifications have a variety of causes. The causes to file a modification range from the changing needs of the child(ren) and living conditions to physical relocation and personal conflicts in the custodial home.

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Child Custody

In Georgia, the court makes the final decisions on child custody. Children 14 years old or older may choose which parent with whom they would prefer to live. But the decision on any modification remains with the court and the child’s preference is not necessarily binding. Due to changing circumstances in income, parental behaviors, relocation or other situations, there may be a need or desire to request a child custody modification.

Any changes to child custody or living arrangements can require changes in child support payment amounts and direction. Child custody modifications can be made for general child custody, child visitation, grandparent’s visitation rights and related matters.

Child Support Modification

Child support payments in Georgia are determined based on the incomes of both parents, and in accordance with set payment calculation guidelines. As the income levels of each parent change, up or down, it may be necessary to request a modification of child support. The child support modification process is not quick, so any desire to get a child support modification should be initiated as soon as reasonably possible. Use a Georgia Child Support Calculator to get an idea of your modified child support payment amount.

Spousal Support Modification

Spousal support may be awarded to a divorcing spouse, on a temporary or permanent basis, whenever the court determines that the facts justify such action. The right to receive spousal support (alimony) is not automatic in the state of Georgia. There are a number of key factors which will be reviewed and considered before any spousal support is awarded. These factors include the income and financial status of each person, non-financial contributions to the marriage, established standard of living and some subjective criteria. Proof of adultery or abandonment usually nullifies any right to alimony in Georgia. Any award of spousal support is subject to revision through a support modification process.

If You Choose to File Contempt On Your Ex-Spouse

After a divorce is final there may be times when one person is not abiding by court orders. We can work with you to bring forth contempt or enforcement actions.

In some instances we can resolve the issues without the need to push things into court enforcement. Sometimes this means considering requesting modifications to meet changing conditions, and sometimes it means letting the other party know that you are serious about addressing the problem. Our goal is to resolve the problem with the least amount of stress and costs.

If You Have Been Charged With Contempt

Sometimes an ex-spouse files a frivolous or baseless contempt motion. Our experience as trial lawyers and criminal defense cases enables you to get a strong defense counsel. We have the skills and experience to fight contempt charges alleging your failure to meet the terms of the settlement. We encourage you to contact us to arrange for a consultation with an attorney in our Marietta or Savannah, Georgia offices.