Modifications to Court Orders

Court orders concerning things such as alimony, child custody and child support are designed to afford both parties a high degree of security about their rights and responsibilities following a divorce or separation. At the same time, they are not meant to be so inflexible as to not accommodate significant changes in the lives of one or both former spouses.

Modifications are a key way for courts to acknowledge how family life can change in the months and years after a divorce. While they are not meant to respond to slight changes in lifestyle or priorities, they can be employed strategically to ensure that one or both parties are not unfairly punished for circumstances beyond their control. As one of Atlanta's foremost law firms practicing exclusively in the area of divorce and family law, our attorneys can help you navigate the system whether you wish to keep court orders in place or seek modifications to reflect new circumstances in your life.

Learn When a Modification May Be Granted in Your Case

Orders concerning financial support — specifically, alimony and child support — become the focus of modification requests when there is a substantial change in the financial situation of one or both parties. For example:

  • The paying spouse might have suffered a sudden job loss or significant pay cut.
  • The recipient spouse might have remarried or been the beneficiary of a sudden financial windfall.
  • Either spouse might have a major increase or decrease in income.

Even in cases where the possibility of amending an alimony order is clear, a modification is not automatic. A party must still seek formal court approval, meaning that it is in your interest to have an experienced lawyer represent you if a modification request appears likely.

Orders concerning child custody are handled by Georgia's court system. Common reasons one or both parents seek child custody modifications include:

  • Job changes that require revisions to an existing parenting plan
  • Custodial parents wishing to move with their children to a location that makes an existing parenting plan unworkable

If parents can agree to a modified child custody arrangement on their own, they can largely bypass the legal system by developing an alternative parenting plan and applying for a consent to modification of custody. Otherwise, parents must litigate their case before a judge, who will determine how (if at all) a child custody order should be changed.

Contact Browning & Smith

Our attorneys can begin evaluating your legal options in light of possible modification requests and prepare a plan to protect your most important rights. Email us or call our Marietta offices at 770-615-7235.