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Can I modify my parenting plan without an attorney?

Midway, GA |

My ex husband and I have been divorced for over a year. I am the custodial parent. He is currently incarcerated with felony charges pending. Prior to going to jail he had already been served with a good behavior warrant. Due to his unpredictable and unstable behavior I am very uncomfortable with him having any visitation with our son until he has a psychological evaluation. I have no idea when he will be released from jail. I do know my responsibility is to protect our son. What steps do I need to take with the courts in order to modify the current parenting plan. I can not afford an attorney.

Attorney Answers 3


Changes to an existing custody order requires the attention of a Superior Court judge. Every parent in Georgia has the right to petition the court for an appropriate change, and to show the court that the situation meets the legal requirements. While it is best to hire a lawyer to give you advice, it is possible to file and maintain the case alone (that is "pro se"). Unfortunately, the court cannot give you legal advice, and you are taking your chances by going this way. Nevertheless, many parents proceed "pro se" every day. I strongly recommend that you at least speak to a lawyer to evaluate if your particular facts would justify a change of custody or parenting time, and to get advice on the best way to proceed. Only then can you get specific legal advice that fits your situation.

I am providing general information on the law only, and no attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of this exchange. You can not rely upon this as formal legal advice. If you require specific legal advice, you must hire an attorney and then your communications will be protected by attorney-client privilege, and you will have the benefit of an opinion of counsel. Call 770-753-9995 for a free evaluation.

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3 lawyers agree


I agree with my colleague. If you cannot afford to retain an attorney to represent you through the entire case, I strongly recommend that you work with an attorney who can help you review any agreement that is made to make sure that everything is done accurately/correctly.

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1 lawyer agrees


You have received some very good responses. The only thing I will add is that many attorneys would be willing to look over changes you are looking to make and give you specific advice about how to go about getting an order to the Judge for a modest amount. Many will take payments over time as well.

The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP EMAIL:, OFFICES: 53 W. Candler St., Winder, Ga. 30680, 106 Washington Street, Jefferson, Ga. 30549, Or 718 Oak St. Gainesville, Georgia. PHONE: (770) 307-4899 or (770) 538-0555 serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation

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