Your custody order is a document that carries the full authority of the Georgia family courts. Both you and your ex should do your best to uphold the terms in your custody order by cooperating with one another and acting in the best interests of your children. Those who do not follow a custody order are at risk of enforcement efforts.
Usually, both parents negotiating their own plans and judges presiding over litigated custody issues will seek to create documents that will remain effective for years to come. Occasionally, families will realize that their existing custody order doesn’t work well. They may seek to update or change the custody order.
What does that process entail?
Custody modifications require special court proceedings
An agreement between you and your ex to change your parenting plan will leave you vulnerable. The best protection comes from having an up-to-date and enforceable custody order. The Georgia family courts do recognize that parenting plans can become outdated either because many years have passed since the parental separation or because family circumstances have changed abruptly in an unanticipated manner.
Whether your children suddenly require more support because of an unanticipated injury or you feel like you are in a better position to spend more time with the children, you may be in a position to request a modification hearing.
You can cooperate, or you can litigate
There are many couples co-parenting in Georgia who recognize when it is time for their family to update their custody arrangements. If the two of you agree on the changes that are necessary for your family, then you won’t have to litigate in family court. You can simply file an uncontested modification request.
If you don’t agree about the changes that you want to make to your parenting plan, then you may need to pursue a contested modification request. While it may take slightly longer, you can present evidence to a judge regarding why you want to make the changes and then await their ruling. They may modify your custody order based on what they believe will be in the children’s best interests.
Wanting more time with your children or more say in the important decisions about their lives can both be viable reasons to pursue a custody modification while co-parenting with your ex in Georgia.