Hecht Family Law
Free Phone Consultation
View Our Practice Areas

Alpharetta Family Law Blog

Reasons to ask for child custody changes

Some Georgia parents who are subject to an existing child custody order may want to ask for a modification. This may be done in the event that they think that the child may be in danger. If a child is in immediate danger, a judge may order a modification right away. A modification may also be made if children say that they don't want to live with the custodial parent.

If a parent chooses to relocate, this may be grounds for modifying an existing order. Whether or not a modification is granted depends on the reason why a parent is relocating and whether or not doing so makes it impossible to stick to the original custody schedule. When a parent ignores the custody schedule, it may be possible to ask that it be changed to reflect the lack of interest.

What to do in a child custody case that goes to court

Georgia parents who are getting a divorce might want to try to compromise with each other regarding child custody. However, if either parent insists on seeking sole custody or if the two cannot come to an agreement, a court battle might be the outcome.

Heading into a custody battle, parents should familiarize themselves with state custody law. Dressing appropriately for court may make a positive impression on the judge. They should also be polite and respectful in the courtroom. If they have documentation to support their custody bid, they can bring it to the custody hearing.

Getting visitation rights

There are a variety of reasons why Georgia parents may be denied visitation with their children. Depending on the circumstances and reason, people may be able to get assistance with being able to see their kids. Additionally, custodial parents aren't always able to prevent the other parent from visiting their children if they don't have valid reasons for doing so.

While some parents may be restricted in their ability to spend time with their children, it is not common for courts to completely deny access. The reasons that courts will deny or severely limit a parent's ability to visit their kids is usually when the children are believed to be in physical or emotional danger.

How emancipation affects child support

When a child in Georgia is emancipated, if one parent makes child support payments, they may no longer be obligated to continue those payments. Emancipation most often occurs when a child turns 18. However, child support payments might continue after this point. A child might also be emancipated for other reasons. For example, economic independence, military service, marriage and abandoning the parental home are all reasons that a person might be considered emancipated.

In some cases, even after a child is emancipated, a parent might still be obligated to make child support payments. If the child was married, divorces and is still a minor, they might be eligible for child support. A parent may also be obligated to continue child support payments for a child with special needs.

How disability might affect child support

If Georgia noncustodial parents who are under a court order to pay child support become disabled, the custodial parents might wonder whether they will continue to receive those payments. If the disability means that the noncustodial parents will no longer be able to pay the same amount of child support that they paid previously, they will need to go to court to ask for a modification in support. The parent will continue to be obligated to pay the same amount in child support until this modification is approved.

If the parent is temporarily disabled, the modification may be temporary. However, even if the parent is on disability benefits or receives Supplemental Security Income, the parent might still be required to pay child support from either of these.

Divorce court can't make bankruptcy decisions

Georgia residents may be interested in a case from their state that set an important precedent when it comes to making divorce agreements. In a march 2017 decision, a federal bankruptcy judge overruled a Georgia Superior Court judge's order that a divorce settlement couldn't be wiped out in bankruptcy.

The case involved a couple who had filed for divorce. In the divorce agreement, one spouse was required to pay the other spouse $53,000 as part of the asset division process. The party who was required to pay the money filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy shortly after the divorce. The divorce decree also included a clause stating that the property division amount could not be discharged in bankruptcy. This means that even after the bankruptcy payment plan was complete, the party would still be liable for the balance of the $53,000 that had not been paid under the plan.

The basic of child custody laws in Georgia

Dealing with child custody is often very complex and difficult. Now that you and your husband have decided to divorce, it is important to have an understanding of Georgia's child custody laws. Knowing what to expect can help you make the right decisions when negotiating a child custody agreement with your husband.

In order to limit conflicts, all states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCA). The Act allows you to opt for joint custody and it recognizes grandparents' visitation rights. An Alpharetta family law attorney can help you navigate child custody issues during your divorce. Read further for an overview of Georgia's child custody laws.

Working together to make the divorce easier for the kids

Georgia parents who are going through the divorce process can become so wrapped up in the situation that they forget about how the changes to their family may be affecting their kids. However, there are certain things that parents can do to help ensure that the transition is easier for everyone involved.

Parents may be interested to learn that it often is not the actual divorce that has an impact on the children but the fighting that may occur. If it is at all possible, couples should pledge to co-parent as peacefully as possible. This means agreeing to not discuss the divorce in front of the kids and to not argue when the children are around. If the children want to talk about their fun adventures with the other parent, the parent should smile and act happy for them. Custody exchanges should occur quickly and with no sharp words being said.

The connection between child support and paternal involvement

A study has found that fathers who do not pay child support are also less likely to spend time with their children. Georgia fathers who are behind on support may also be less likely to provide their child with items like toys and food or to take part in activities such as helping them with homework.

The researchers identified a number of other commonalities among parents who had fallen behind on support. Fathers who did not pay support were more likely to have been incarcerated and worked fewer hours. They tended to have less education and might have more children from other relationships.

Making decisions about IVF embryos when getting a divorce

When a Georgia couple decides that it is time to start a family, they may turn to in vitro fertilization in order to conceive a biological child. However, the process can be emotionally draining on many couples, potentially becoming a factor in a split or a divorce. If this happens and the couple still has frozen embryos that were not implanted, they will have to make decisions about what they want to do.

Under the law, frozen embryos are considered to be personal property that belongs to both individuals. However, there is very little protection available for the embryos. When a couple first begins the IVF process, they usually are asked to sign a consent form that determines what they want to do with any embryos they create if they split up or if they die. This consent agreement, however, is often not enforceable in court.

Ask a legal question

Get Your Questions Answered

At Hecht Family Law we understand that this is not only a very trying time for you, but that you want to get what you feel you deserve during the divorce process. We will always keep your end goal in mind.

Ready to rest easy tonight? Take a moment to contact Hecht Family Law. We offer free phone consultations, or you could send us an email to discuss your family law matter today.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy