Protecting Your Rights As A Father

As a Marietta, Georgia, family law lawyer, I advise and represent many fathers who are facing enforcement actions or even contempt of court for not keeping up with their child support payments. I aggressively protect their rights and help work out a solution that gets them back on track and out of legal trouble with the courts.

If the custodial mother of your child is denying your visitation time with your child — even if you are behind in your child support payments — call me right away: 866-442-5628

But issues related to custody, visitation rights and child support in Georgia cut both ways. When people hear the words, "enforcement" or "contempt of court" in a Georgia family law matter, they usually think it applies only to fathers who fall behind on their child support payments.

Fathers also have the right to file court grievances against the mother if they are not allowed visitation rights in Georgia. Many don't know that they have equal access to the courts to enforce their parenting rights or modify their original court order to help them remain an important part of their child's life.

Enforcement And Contempt

Like in most states, parental time sharing (visitation rights) is not tied to whether or not the noncustodial parent is caught up with child support payments. The two are separate issues in the court order and the mother has no right to take on the roll of enforcer.

If you have been denied visitation time according to your court order, you have the right to pursue your rights through the courts. I will aggressively pursue an enforcement action that may result in contempt of court charges against the custodial mother or guardian of your child.

Fathers may need to enforce their original agreement for various reasons, including:

  • Visitation rights denied because of missing child support payment(s)
  • Parenting time reduced because the mother is consistently late delivering the child to the appointed location or not ready for pick up from the child's residence
  • New relationship with an inappropriate romantic partner
  • Mother consistently demands changes to the original parenting schedule
  • Alienation of affection, the mother instructs the child to accuse the father of abuse or neglect
  • Mother fails to meet the health and welfare needs of the child, as per the court order

Modifications

The courts understand that financial and social circumstances change in people's lives. If you are the noncustodial parent of a child and can no longer meet the original terms of your custody, visitation and child support order, you have the right to pursue a modification through the courts. DO NOT TRY TO WORK OUT AN INFORMAL ARRANGEMENT WITH THE CUSTODIAL MOTHER. It is critically important to have the courts officially modify your court order. Informal agreements typically work for awhile, but often fall apart. You will not have a legal leg to stand on if the custodial mother backs out of the agreement.

Modifications can be made for a number of reasons, including:

  • Loss of job
  • Mother's financial needs for day care expenses change
  • The mother has moved out of the immediate geographic area with the child
  • New job requiring significant change in commute or long distance travel
  • Change in work shift
  • Deployment for military service
  • Teenage child requests change because of social schedule

Changes Because The Child Is No Longer An Infant

Most fathers understand that their infant child needs to spend the majority of time with their mother. Court parenting schedules often reflect an imbalance in the time a father gets to spend with the child. As the child becomes a toddler, however, the father has a right to expand the amount of parenting time. If you feel your child is at the age when he or she will benefit from additional time with dad, it is time to discuss modifying your original court order.

Contact

If you need to discuss an enforcement issue or need to change your original court order, it is important to work through the courts. That starts by hiring an experienced Georgia fathers' rights lawyer. Call toll free 866-442-5628 or send an email with a brief explanation of your circumstances.