What Constitutes a “Change in Circumstance” for Custody Modifications?

If you want to modify your child custody arrangement in Georgia, you may have heard that this is only possible if a “change in circumstance” has occurred. This change in circumstance must be significant enough to justify altering the arrangement. As a concerned parent, you might be wondering what actually constitutes a “change in circumstance.” When are you allowed to modify your child custody arrangement?

If you want answers, your best bet is to consult with a family law attorney in Georgia. Our legal professionals can explain exactly when you can modify your child custody arrangement. If a change in circumstance has occurred, we can then help you modify your arrangement and guide you through the entire legal process. 

All Decisions are Made Based on the Child’s Best Interests

The first thing you need to know is that when family courts make decisions about child custody, they only consider the child’s best interests. Your own personal needs and desires are simply irrelevant. This means that if you are trying to modify your child custody arrangement, you need to build your entire argument around what is best for your child. Do not make the mistake of making this all about you. 

Examples of Substantial Changes in Circumstances

Here are some examples of substantial changes in circumstances:

  • The Parent Develops a Substance Abuse Problem: If a parent develops a substance abuse problem, the child may be in danger. As a result, the other parent may be awarded sole custody – but only if they can prove this substance abuse poses a major threat to the child.
  • The Parent Moves Away: If one parent moves to another location, it may prevent the other parent from seeing the child regularly. In many cases, parents are prevented from moving too far away. If they choose to follow through with the move, the other parent may be awarded sole custody. This is especially true if the child has close ties with the local community. 
  • The Child Becomes Old Enough to Express Preference: If the custody arrangement was developed when the child was very young, their preference may not have been considered. As they grow older, however, they may start to express a preference – and custody can change as a result. 
  • One Parent Experiences Health Problems: If one parent’s physical or mental health declines significantly, they may become unable to sufficiently care for the child. This means that sole custody may be awarded to the other parent. 
  • The Parent Begins Abusing the Child: If you can prove that the child is being abused, you will almost certainly win sole custody. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Georgia area for a qualified child custody attorney, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. We know how important it is for parents to spend time with their children, and we will do everything in our power to restore your rights as a parent. If you are not sure whether a change in circumstance has occurred, get in touch immediately, and we will assess your unique situation. Book your consultation today to learn more.

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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