When the courts finalize your divorce, they either approve the terms that you and your spouse set in an uncontested divorce or issue their own terms in various court orders after reviewing the situation carefully.
Regardless of whether you and your spouse or the courts set the exact terms for custody and support, it is possible for you to ask the courts to change those terms when your life circumstances change.
The courts conduct a periodic review of custody and support orders
Generally speaking, the Georgia family courts will review the amount of support set in a divorce and the custody allocations periodically to ensure that the solutions originally created still work for the family.
If the courts determine that circumstances have changed, they may issue a modification without either party formally requesting one. However, if your circumstances change and you cannot wait for a standard review, you can request a modification hearing.
You need a reason to ask for a modification
Simply being unhappy with the amount of support you pay typically isn’t a valid reason to ask the courts to reduce it, but a provable decrease in your income or increase in your ex’s income could change your obligations.
When it comes to child custody modifications, if you did not seek shared custody and only asked for visitation, you could potentially ask for a modification at any time. If the courts limited your parental rights due to issues such as a history of substance abuse or a lack of stable housing, addressing those issues can give you grounds to ask the courts to change the custody order and allocate more parenting time to you.
When life circumstances change, you have the right to ask for related changes to the terms set in your divorce. Seeking a modification makes those changes official and protects you from allegations of non-compliance.