Lawrenceville Judgment Modification Lawyer
Legal issues can linger on after a divorce. For example, your ex-spouse may not be paying court-ordered child support. That’s why it’s crucial to seek a Lawrenceville judgment modification lawyer. Crystal Wright Law has represented clients in complicated family matters for nearly a decade. Contact our law firm at (404) 594-2143 and schedule your consultation.
In some cases, Georgia allows courts to modify divorce decrees, child custody and visitation orders, and other judgments when specific conditions are met. However, seeking a modification can be challenging, even in the best of scenarios.
How Crystal Wright Law Can Help with Judgment Modifications in Lawrenceville, GA
All areas of Georgia family law are complex, but modifying court orders is one of the most challenging. The law allows an ex-spouse or parent to seek a modification to court orders concerning child custody, visitation, child support, and alimony. However, proving your case can be complicated.
If you are seeking a judgment modification after your divorce, it’s critical to seek counsel from a Lawrenceville family law lawyer.
Turn to Crystal Wright Law to help with your modification petition, and count on our firm to:
- Give you the legal advice, personal attention, and support you need
- Help you assess if your circumstances qualify for a modification under Georgia law
- Gather evidence and help you prepare to demonstrate the need for a modification
- Prepare and file your modification petition, then represent you during your case
Do not make the mistake of attempting a modification request on your own. If your request is denied, you may have to wait to make another request. Call our law office today to schedule a consultation with a Lawrenceville family law attorney for the help you need.
What Is Judgment Modification in Georgia Family Law?
When a Georgia court issues a final court order in a family law matter, it is not necessarily the end of the issue. There are many situations in which a final order may be modified, particularly when it involves parenting and ongoing support. As a general rule, courts only consider modification when an ex-spouse or parent experiences a significant change in circumstances.
Not all court orders are eligible for modification. It is nearly impossible to modify orders regarding asset division, for instance.
Orders that can be modified include:
- Periodic spousal support (but not lump sum alimony)
- Child support
- Child custody
- Child visitation
If circumstances have changed for you or your ex-spouse, it’s crucial to seek a modification as soon as possible. You may feel like abiding by the terms of an order is impossible. But defying a court order can result in harsh penalties like contempt, jail, and wage garnishment.
Importantly, Georgia courts cannot apply modifications retroactively. This means, for instance, that having the child support amount lowered will not affect any past-due amount.
Given the complexity of judgment modification, it’s always advisable to work with experienced Lawrenceville divorce attorneys to prove your case for modification.
Can Child Custody and Visitation Be Modified in Lawrenceville, GA?
You and your ex-spouse’s original custody and visitation arrangements may have worked in the past, but circumstances can change. You can petition to modify those custody and visitation arrangements due to a substantial change in your circumstances.
Modifications can only be made when new conditions substantially affect a child’s interests and welfare. Georgia courts will always consider the interest of the child above all else.
A judge decides whether a change is substantial enough to warrant a modification on a case-by-case basis.
Common reasons for changing custody include:
- A parent is leaving the state or the area, which affects the other parent’s custody and visitation rights
- The child is turning 14 and wishes to live with their other parent
- The child’s or parent’s schedule will change for a long period of time
- There is new evidence that the other parent is unfit or interfering with visitation and custody
- The child’s needs have changed.
If the other parent fails to obey custody and visitation orders, you have additional options outside of modification. It’s important to track violations. You may petition a court to enforce the terms of its custody and visitation order rather than seek a modification.
A modification order can be used to make changes to:
- Legal and physical custody. Both parents are generally awarded joint legal custody, but a modification may change this arrangement in the child’s best interests. Likewise, the custodial parent can be changed through modification.
- Visitation schedule and parenting time. Parents can agree to changes without a court order, but sometimes modification is necessary if one parent interferes with visitation or circumstances change significantly.
An experienced Lawrenceville child custody modification lawyer can help you assess if there has been a significant change in circumstances.
Note that emergency custody does not follow the same rules as modifying a child custody order. If an emergency threatens your child’s safety, you can file a Motion for an Emergency Hearing. If the emergency order is granted, another hearing is held later with both parents present.
Your custody lawyer can help you file for emergency custody if you believe your child is in danger.
Can Child Support Be Modified in Lawrenceville, Georgia?
One of the most common judgment modifications in Gwinnett County is a modification of child support. When a court calculates child support, it considers the income of both parents, the child’s needs, and their standard of living. The child support amount can be modified due to a significant change in circumstances.
Either parent can seek a modification of child support. The parent must show there has been a change in their financial condition or the child’s needs to qualify for modification.
A child support order can be modified at any time initially. However, it can only be modified every two years.
When Can Alimony Be Modified in Lawrenceville, GA?
Spousal support works in a similar way as child support.
There are a few circumstances that allow for modifications to alimony:
- A significant change in either party’s income or financial status,
- The receiving party has remarried, or
- The receiving party is cohabitating continuously with a sexual or romantic partner (known as Georgia’s “live-in lover” law).
If your action to modify alimony is successful, the court can choose to award you attorney’s fees and court costs. This is always at the judge’s discretion. If you are the paying spouse and filed the action, you may be ordered to pay the reasonable legal expenses of the receiving spouse.
Contact a Lawrenceville Judgment Modification Lawyer for a Consultation
Modifying a court order is complex and challenging, even in cases that seem straightforward. In modifications involving child support, custody, and visitation, the court will always prioritize the child’s best interests. A significant decrease in income may not be enough for a modification.
Georgia courts set a high burden for modifying a court order, making it crucial to seek experienced legal counsel. Contact Crystal Wright Law today to schedule a consultation with a Lawrenceville judgment modification lawyer who can help you.