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Child support modification/custody... can I request to have equal custody as the custodial parent? My child is not yet 14.

Atlanta, GA |

I currently have joint legal custody, she has joint physical custody with tie breaking authority. I want the custody to be split with a mediator on decisions that we cannot agree on. I think this is best as I want to have equal right to influence my child as well as she does. I am educated with no criminal. I am an upright citizen. She on the other hand is the same, however she is very evil (no really) I just cannot prove this to the judge but I do have proof that she is getting over on the state with fraud. This is one of my reasons. I do not want my child to have a criminal manipulated mind based off what is shown by the mother. Please advise.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. In order to request a modification of your current custody agreement, you would need to show that there has been a "substantial change in circumstances" re: the parties and/or minor child. If you are able to reach an agreement with the mother, you may be able to go ahead and do it even though there may not technically be a "substantial change", but if she were to oppose it, you would definitely need to satisfy the required standard.

  2. I agree, You should consult with a local attorney to determine whether there has been a change in circumstances sufficient to warrant a modification of your current custody arrangement.

  3. I think what you meant to say is that you and your ex share joint legal custody and physical custody of the children (one person cannot have joint custody by themselves) and that she has final decision making authority if you two cannot agree.

    First, to modify custody you will need to show that there has been a change in the conditions and circumstances of the children or the parties. For example, the children's grades have deteriorated or improved; a parent has been arrested; a child turning 14; etc. If you have a change, then you can bring a new case.

    Second, what you are asking for --that legal custody issues be decided by a mediator --is definitely something that can be ordered or agreed to. However, I would caution against that. Mediation is non-binding which means that it can end with no decision (Arbitration can be binding). It can also be expensive since most family law mediators charge about $200 per hour. More importantly, it requires you to both schedule mediation, mediate, and then get to a decision or if you hire an arbitrator, to make a decision. This can be timely. In situations where a decision regarding you children needs to be made quickly, such as a medical decision, waiting can have disastrous effects. Think about a situation where your child is doing poorly in school. You and your ex decide the child needs tutoring but you cannot agree on the tutor. Rather than allowing one person to make the final decision, the two of you will battle it out in mediation or arbitration. It could take a week or two to set up the mediation or arbitration, then a day in mediation, and if you arbitrate another week or two to get the award (the decision). Meanwhile, your child's grades continue to slip.

    Best of luck!

    This post does not create an attorney client relationship. This attorney is only licensed in Georgia.

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