Changes to your Rights to Enforce a Custody Order

You have a custody order in the state of Georgia.  Your ex moves to another state.  Your ex continuously violates the order.   You are told by your attorney you will have to sue in the other state.  What, go to Alaska to hire an attorney?  The marriage was here in Georgia, the children were born here in Georgia, you have a Georgia divorce decree.  He is the one that moved that far away – not you.   A loop hole in the law for sure.  Well that hole has now been officially closed.  With the passing of the Senate Bill 491, effective immediately, a client is entitled to sue for contempt here in Georgia.  Whew!

Georgia Changes Help to Seal Custody Order Loop Holes 

Previously you would have been informed by your attorney that you would have to go to another state to enforce your custody rights and have the other party held in contempt.    The case determining this legislative loop hole is from the Court of Appeals, Daniels v. Barnes, 289 Ga.App 897, 658 S.E.2d 472 (2008).  In that case the paternal grandparents filed a petition to modify custody, as well as seeking an order to hold the mother of the child in contempt of court.  The mother of the children, was personally served with the summons and petition in her home state of Rhode Island where she and her present husband lived with the children.  The trial court judge agreed with the paternal grandparents and held the mother in contempt fining her $5,000 and imprisoning her for 200 days.  She disputed that the trial court judge had the authority to hold her in contempt of court and appealed.  The Court of Appeals agreed with the mother that the law did not allow a Georgia court to hold her in contempt (although the trial court did have the authority to modify the custody order).  Your case doesn’t have to be grandparents.  You simply must have a custody order.

If you have any questions regarding your child custody order, please contact our office to speak with a caring child custody atttorney. We have an office located in Marietta off the Square, an Alpharetta office, and one in Atlanta off the Glenridge Connector. 770-426-1148