In Georgia, Change of Custody can be based on a change of condition of either party or the child. Generally, the argument is made pertaining to the choice of a child on or after a child's fourteenth (14th) birthday or the best interest of the child.
In a change of custody case, the prior custody award will not always control after any new and material change in circumstances that affects the child is considered by the court. There are a number of circumstances that the Court has previously held to be a "material change in circumstances". Each Change of Child Custody case is decided upon its particular facts.
Parents should be aware that an agreement signed by both parents but is not approved by the Court is unenforceable. Change of Child Custody can only be legally upheld or enforced by court action. Parents should work together to reach agreements that are in the best interest of the child/ren. However, they must also obtain the courts' approval to ensure enforceability of such agreement.
MODIFICATION OF VISITATION RIGHTS
Any complaint seeking a modification of visitation rights must be brought as a separate action in the county of residence of the legal custodian of the child. The superior court has the authority to transfer the determination of visitation to the juvenile court. The parties of such action can waive jurisdiction of the person and venue. Therefore, the previous county could hear the case if a new suit is filed and the parties waive jurisdiction of the person and venue.
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