Court orders in a divorce are meant to be final, but things change. When circumstances in your life or your children’s lives change, existing orders for custody or support might not work well anymore. While you can’t just change or ignore orders that don’t suit you, you can go back to court and have the judge modify the existing orders. If you and your ex agree on a modification, you can work it out together and likely get it approved by the judge. If not, you might need to litigate the issue in court and work to get a ruling in your favor after a contested hearing.
At The Gleklen Law Firm, we deal every day with contested, contentious and high-conflict family law matters. Our lawyers are experienced in litigating every issue that arises both during a divorce and in post-judgment modifications. If circumstances have changed and you need to get a modification of custody or support, or if you are opposing a proposed change sought by your former spouse, the attorneys at The Gleklen Law Firm are here for you with practical, strategic advice and high-quality representation to make sure the rights and interests of you and your children are properly considered in any post-divorce modification. See below for a discussion about what can and can’t be modified after a divorce, and call today to schedule a consultation with our team.
An order for alimony, aka spousal support, can be modified post-divorce based on a change in the income or finances of the paying or receiving party. Alimony could therefore be increased or decreased according to the need to receive and the ability to pay. Alimony could also be reduced or terminated altogether if the recipient begins living with another partner in an open and continuous relationship or engages in a romantic or sexual relationship with another. The relevant facts would have to be proven in court, and they are often opposed by the other party, creating the need for an adversarial trial or other dispute resolution.
Child support is based on the shared incomes of both parents and calculated according to the Georgia Child Support Guidelines. If the income of either parent goes up or down significantly, this change could require a recalculation of the monthly support amount. Courts are also authorized to deviate from the guidelines based on the needs of the children, so if their needs change post-divorce, then child support can be modified accordingly.
As children enter school or adolescence, their needs to be cared for by one parent or the other can change. Also, if one parent wishes to move out of state or a significant distance away in-state, either with or without the kids, this relocation can impact the shared custody or visitation arrangement in the current plan. The courts will always entertain a motion to alter custody when it is in the children’s best interests to do so. We can work with you and your co-parent to modify the parenting plan to suit your needs and present it to the judge for approval, or litigate any contested matters in court if you are seeking or opposing a modification of child custody.
Enforcement and Contempt
Parents or former spouses cannot change court orders on their own. They can’t withhold custody because the other parent isn’t paying support, and they can’t decide on their own to alter or ignore court orders. Even when you and your ex agree on a change, it’s important to get court approval to make the modification official and enforceable. Our team at The Gleklen Law Firm is experienced in enforcement proceedings, including contempt actions, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in these matters. Whichever side you are on, having zealous representation from skilled and knowledgeable legal counsel is crucial to protecting your rights.
Call The Gleklen Law Firm for Help With Divorce Modification in Atlanta
For help with a post-divorce modification of alimony, child custody or support, call The Gleklen Law Firm at 678-236-0444, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.