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Divorce Modifications: What Is A Substantial Change In Conditions?

In Georgia, when couples go before the court in an effort to resolve their divorce-related matter the expectation is that the final order of the court will be a permanent resolution. However, the passage of time can bring about changes in circumstances which might also lead to changes or modifications of an existing order. It should not be taken for granted that the court will allow changes to an existing order just because the lives of the parties involved aren’t exactly as they were at the time the order was executed. In fact, certain issues resolved by the court in a divorce proceeding can only be changed when there is a finding that a material change in conditions has occurred.

Unfortunately, there is no set formula that automatically leads to a finding by the court that a material change has occurred. It will be determined on a case by case basis and will usually depend on the facts associated with the parties, the temperament of the judge deciding the case and the skill of the attorneys involved. In custody cases the court’s first priority is to determine what is in the best interest of the child. There must be a:

  • Material change of condition and
  • The change of condition must be demonstrated with new evidence which arose since the previous order.

Instances where the court has found that one parent was abusing drugs and/or alcohol, surrendered physical custody of the child to the other parent and where the child experienced a deteriorated emotional state are all examples where courts have found a material change in circumstances warranting an amended order. If circumstances have changed since the court issued it’s order and you are in need of a modification to address the matter you should seek the advice of an experienced family law and divorce attorney. Our office consults with clients and guides them through the best strategy to present on their case. The Faucette Law Firm serves the Douglasville and Atlanta area in all matters related to child custody, child support, legitimation, alimony, modifications and adoptions. Contact our office today for a consultation.