Category Archives: Parenting Plan

Child Custody Litigation

Child Custody LitigationChild Custody Litigation – Many of my clients come to my office seeking advice about child custody litigation.  The first thing I discuss with my clients is how serious the journey will be – in that it will likely impact their children’s health, happiness, and relationship with both parents.  Additionally, never will all the client’s conduct, words, attitudes and relationships be as closely scrutinized as during a custody litigation.  Unlike other domestic relations litigation, in custody litigation, the conduct of the parents during the pendency of the litigation, many times determine the outcome of the case.  Following is a list of conduct your attorney will discuss with you and likely suggest that you SHOULD NOT engage if you are considering child custody litigation.

  1. Violence.
  2. Use of drugs
  3. Frequent consumption of alcohol.
  4. Improper romantic or sexual relationships.
  5. Mistreatment of a child.
  6. Interference with a child’s relationship with the other parent.
  7. Failure to exercise all possible visitation or contact with the minor children.
  8. Failure to pay child support or other support as required.
  9. Lie or make misrepresentation under oath.

Additionally, you should assume that the other parent will be / or has been documenting your conduct.  It is best, leading up to the litigation, that you should make sure your conduct does not include those conducting on the above list if you are considering child custody litigation.

If you have questions about child custody litigation or are considering your options as it relates to a change of custody of your children, you should seek out a knowledgeable child custody lawyer to help you decide next steps.  A lawyer will discuss your objectives and concerns to see if child custody litigation makes sense for you.

For information about a child custody litigation in Georgia, contact the Remboldt Law Firm for a free consultation at 404-348-4081.

 

A court may not modify a previous decree in a contempt order.

A court may not modify a previous decree in a contempt order. However, a court may always interpret and clarify its own orders.  Here’s and example, the parties divorced in 2005. Pursuant to the divorce decree, the parties were granted joint legal and physical custody of the two minor children. The decree further ordered that the father shall have final authority to make decisions regarding extracurricular activities.

The Father filed a motion for contempt alleging that the Mother was in contempt for refusing to allow the daughter to participate in certain golf tournaments during her custodial time, and for continuing to use a golf instructor for the child that he previously fired. The trial court held that the golf instructor was forbidden from having any contact related to golf instruction with the daughter, and that the mother could utilize her custodial time with the children in any way she deems appropriate.

“The court may not modify a previous decree in a contempt order. However, a court may always interpret and clarify its own orders. The test to determine whether an order is clarified or modified is whether the clarification is reasonable or whether it is so contrary to the apparent intention of the original order as to amount to a modification. Cason v. Cason, 281 Ga. 296,297 (1)(2006)

The Georgia Supreme court held that the trial court did not impermissibly modify the earlier decree but instead clarified the extent as to which the father’s decision making as to children’s extracurricular activities could encroach upon the mother’s custodial time.

A court may not modify a previous decree in a contempt order but may interpret and clarify its own orders.  Earle v. Earle, 312 Ga. App. 139 (October 18, 2011)