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Can I get my custody order changed?

The short answer is, yes. Georgia courts do allow modifications to custody orders. However, you will need to show there has been a significant change in circumstances. The same applies regardless of whether custody was set up through a divorce or a paternity proceeding.

When can I have custody modified?

A non-custodial parent can petition the court for a custody modification but will need to prove there has been a major change in circumstances that affects your child's well-being. Some examples include:

  • When a parent must relocate
  • When the child turns 14, the child can request a custody change every two years
  • When the child is being exposed to a harmful environment that impacts his or her safety

Can I get my child support order changed?

Yes, but similarly, you will need to show that financial circumstances have significantly changed or that your child's needs have increased significantly. Some examples include:

  • When a parent loses a job or suffers a decrease in income that is involuntary
  • If, since the original order, either parent receives TANF benefits
  • If one parent has a significant raise in income
  • If the child's healthcare costs have increased

Can I get my child support order modified if I'm incarcerated?

Georgia courts do not allow child support modifications for parents who go to jail or prison. They do not consider a job or income loss due to the incarceration as a valid reason to have child support modified.

How do I get a modification?

Whether you are seeking to change custody arrangements or amend the child support obligation, you will need to motion the court and pay the associated fees. It is best to seek the advice of a knowledgeable family law attorney who can walk you through the process and provide advice about your special circumstances. You will also want someone to advocate and represent the best interests of your child throughout the process. 

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