At Family Matters Law Group, we are often asked to revisit cases that have already been decided. Sometimes, modifications are necessary to existing court orders, especially if one parent is not fulfilling their responsibilities as defined in the custody order. Here’s an example of a recent case where the intervention of Family Matters Law Group helped a father regain custody of his daughter.
A recently divorced father came to my office concerned that he was being denied rightful visitation of his 10-year-old daughter. His ex-wife had been awarded primary custody, but he was supposed to be receiving visitation weekends twice a month.
His ex-wife had spent the previous year making sudden changes to the visitation schedule based on how she felt in the moment. She also continuously spoke badly of the father in front of the child. The father was concerned as well about the mother’s dating habits (she had dated at least four different men and they all had social contact with the child due to the fact they were spending nights in her home).
The father was motivated to come to our office when he began to notice the child’s grades were slipping significantly and assignments were not being done. Many of his visitation weekends were spent trying to catch the child up on her schoolwork.
In this case, the primary issue is that the mother is not being compliant with a court order. The judge has already laid out a visitation schedule, and the mother is willfully being non-compliant.
Another issue is the mental state of the child. When a child’s behavior begins to change significantly, an intervention is required before there is significant damage done. In this case, the instability of the visitation schedule, the mother’s problematic dating life, and the deterioration of the child’s grades at school created a situation where our office needed to take immediate action to help this father.
We made a decision not to hire a guardian ad litem in this case because we felt that no further investigation was necessary. The evidence for a change in the custody order was fairly clear and concrete.
Family Matters Law Group filed a modification of custody action on behalf of the father. While the case was pending, the mother continued to defy the court by denying the father his court-ordered visits. In response, the court ordered that the custody status of the child change from the mother having primary custody to both parents sharing joint legal custody.
The final ruling from the judge was that my client, the father, be awarded primary physical custody of his daughter.
I recognized early on that the father in this case was doing absolutely everything the court had asked him to do and beyond. He was truly invested in the well-being of his young daughter, and I wanted to help him create a new environment for this lovely young lady. Both he and his daughter deserved a fresh start before things got worse.
Nothing good happens when a parent believes that they are above the authority of the Court. The mother in this case created a destructive environment for her child and was no longer operating in the child’s best interests even though she had primary custody.
I’m pleased with the outcome of this case and I’m so happy that Family Matters Law Group could play a part in helping a good father win custody of his child. It’s never too late to fight for father's rights. Contact us and find out what we can do to help. If you are in Clayton or Fayette counties (or any other metro Atlanta county), use our convenient online contact form to get the process started.