Oftentimes, it is very difficult to foresee who would win a custody modification case in Georgia. This is because each case is unique. The court will consider these unique circumstances to make its decision.
Understanding the following key points may help increase your chances of winning a custody modification case in Georgia.
Win a custody modification case by understanding the legal requirements
The parent filing for modification of custody needs to show that there has been a material change of circumstances affecting the welfare of the child. Once this is shown, the court will determine whether the child’s best interests would be served by a change in custody.
So, custody modification in Georgia is basically a two-step process. If the parent filing for custody modification fails to show material change of circumstances, that parent would not be able to win the custody modification case in Georgia.
What constitutes a material change of circumstance affecting the welfare of a child depends on the case. Thus, this analysis would be highly factual.
One example of a material change of circumstances negatively affecting the welfare of a child is a situation where: (1) the mother concealed the location of her residence from the father; (2) the mother moved to a different county, which increased the child’s commute time and showed the mother’s intention to interfere with the father’s relationship with the child; (3) the child began to show apathy for school after his move to the different county; and (4) the mother began taking the child to a different church than before in contravention of the father’s final decision-making authority regarding the child’s religious upbringing.
Win a custody modification case by exercising good parental judgment
Exercising good judgment is important in a custody modification action. For example, the best interests of the child standard includes the following factors:
- Each parent’s past performance and relative abilities for future performance of parenting responsibilities
- The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interest of the child
- Any evidence of family violence or sexual, mental, or physical child abuse or criminal history of either parent
- Any evidence of substance abuse by either parent
Thus, if a parent exercises poor parental judgment, this could negatively affect that parent’s chances of winning a custody modification case in Georgia.
Negotiations could be an effective way to reach a settlement agreement regarding change of custody. Negotiations could be done through mediation or otherwise. If the parents voluntarily reach an agreement, this could be a mutually satisfactory outcome.
Win a custody modification case by gathering evidence
If the custody modification issue needs to be resolved through a hearing, it is important to present relevant evidence.
For example, a parent wanting custody modification would need to present evidence to show material change of circumstances affecting the welfare of the child. Relevant evidence could include text messages between the parents, photographs, witnesses, and so on.
Also, you need to understand which evidence would be admissible under the Georgia rules of evidence.