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What is the easiest and most cost effective way to file papers switching custody if both parties are in agreement?

Buchanan, GA |

I was divorced in a dfferent state than i am currently living in. I do not have a lot of money and wanted to know if i can notarize an agreement and file it myself, or if i have to obtain an attorney. My Ex-husband and i have already come up with an agreement and he has agreed to sign papers giving me custody of our 12 yr old son

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You stated that you no longer live in the state where you were divorced, but did not state whether the other parent changed states as well. This is important because of the potential issues of change of jurisdiction and need to domesticate your existing order.

    The easiest and most cost effective way for you to modify custody CORRECTLY where both parties agree to all terms is to retain an attorney for the sole purpose of drafting your documents and advising you (specifically) on how to proceed.

    I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

    ~ Kem Eyo

    The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.


  2. You will need to initiate a modification action to change custody. As part of the modification action, even if you and your ex-husband are able to agree on terms of the new arrangement, the court would still have to decide whether the modification is in the child's best interests. I advise that you at least sit down with an attorney and let them review the agreement you and your ex have come up with. The attorney may be willing to represent you pro bono or at a reduced rate, and/or depending on your financial situation if you are not able to afford to pay the filing fee you may be able to file a pauper's affidavit requesting that the filing fee be waived by the court. Keep in mind that you and your ex would also have to attend a parenting seminar , assuming this is in Georgia. If this case would be in Georgia, I may be interesting in providing a free in-person consultation at my office in Carrollton. My office ph # is 678-664-0800.


  3. If both people agree you can hold the costs down with an uncontested modification. An agreement as to support, custody and visitation is a small piece of the paperwork, which also will include a verified petition, child support worksheet, financial affidavits, parenting plan, etc. You definitely need a lawyer's help.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  4. The most cost effective thing to do is hire an attorney. It may seem like a big cost now, but in the long run it can cost you a lot more due to fixing problems when the documents are incorrect, or you leave out crucial details. Changing a custody order from another state involves the UCCJEA, laws that specifically address interstate divorce and custody orders. You need an attorney to help you through the process. If your ex has agreed, then you may be able to find an attorney who will work with you on a smaller fee.


  5. You need to get an attorney.

    Darrell B. Reynolds,
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    2385 Lawrenceville Highway, Ste D
    Decatur, Ga. 30033
    404-636-6616

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