Judge Has Wide Discretion in Determining Custody
What constitutes a material change of circumstances?
The court can award custody to 3rd persons where the present unfitness of the parents is established by clear and convincing evidence. Upon the filing of an action for change of child custody, the court may in its discretion change the terms of custody on a temporary basis, but any such temporary custody award will not constitute an adjudication of the rights of the parties. To change custody and changing conditions, the trial court must find that a change of conditions affecting the welfare of the child exists, and that the welfare of the child requires modification of the original award. Where the trial judge's bylaw made the trier of an issue of fact the appellate courts will not interfere with its findings and there is any evidence to support it. Madison v. Montgomery 206 Ga. 199 (1949). Thus, where the evidence is conflicting as to whether there has been a change of condition substantially affecting the welfare of the child subsequent to a divorce decree, the trial court cannot be held to have erred in its determination to remand custody. It is the province of the trial judge to weigh the evidence and give credence to the version that appears to have been most plausible. Trial judges have a lot of power when it comes to determining custody. The trial court's discretion to award custody in contest between parents is not an arbitrary and unlimited discretion but is such a discretion as means sound discretion guided by law. It must be governed by rule, not by humor, it must not be arbitrary, vague and fanciful, but legal and regular. The test is whether or not there is any reasonable evidence to sustain the court's award of custody. Contact in Paulding County family law lawyer to handle your custody case.