Georgia families receive a child custody and visitation order upon divorce. However, you can also modify the child custody order during key moments. By knowing when you can modify the order, you can adjust to changing family situations and better address your child’s needs.
Georgia.gov states that a custody order can only change if the circumstances of the family change. You can have a review of the custody order done every two years in family court. The judge determines visitation and custodial rights during the initial proceedings, which can occur during your divorce proceedings.
There are other circumstances where the custody order needs review or potential modification. If you plan to move, you need to provide your new address 30 days before moving to the noncustodial parent who has visitation rights.
Your child can request a change in custody once they reach the age of 14. They can then request a change every two years until they reach their majority. Grandparents may also have custodial rights to see their grandchild but only if the natural parents are unwilling to care for the child or incompetent.
The state does prefer the parents to come up with a visitation and parenting plan prior to the first custodial hearing. The plan includes holiday and vacation schedules, transportation, parental communication and a time schedule.
The judge keeps the best interests of the child in mind during your custodial hearings. In order to modify the custody order, it requires proving that the family circumstances have significantly changed.