Douglas, GA asked in Family Law for Georgia

Q: What can be done when a parent in Georgia fails to get children for their court ordered visitation?

My ex and I (never married to each other) have 2 children, we have been to court for custody/visitation. We have joint legal custody with an every other week visitation. Do I have legal options if she never gets them for her scheduled week? This is an issue that has been going on for at least the past 8 months. Example: for the month of March she only had them for 2 days the entire month. I have documentation of this behavior from her since July 2022.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Regina Irene Edwards
Regina Irene Edwards pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: The legal system can't make her be a good parent. Enjoy the extra time with your children and just document for now. If you file a modification, you may get custody, but she'll get more time awarded her on paper than she's exercising now, so the actual situation may not improve much. And unless she earns a ton of money, the child support you would get may not be an incentive to rock the boat.

Alake Colwell Furlow
Alake Colwell Furlow
  • Dacula, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: I'm not sure what legal options you mean. When someone chooses not to exercise visitation for any reason, there is nothing the custodial parent can do to make them, and they're not in contempt of court for not doing so. You can file for a modification to change his visitation if he doesn't exercise the visitation he has been given, especially if he was given a deviation for parenting time or for travel to exercise visitation. But if the non-custodial parent doesn't pick up the child for visitation, then that becomes your time.

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