When circumstances change after the entry of a custody and visitation order (i.e. Parenting Plan), a modification may be necessary. The standard in Georgia to decide child custody is what is in the best interest of the child. However, life changes over time, so what is in the best interest of the child at the time of the original child custody order does not always remain in their best interest. Georgia law allows for parents to petition the court to modify visitation once every two years. There does not need to be a substantial change in circumstances of either parent or the child. When there is a change in material circumstances or conditions of either parent or the child then a parent may petition the court for a change in custody.
O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3(8)(b) In any case in which a judgment awarding the custody of a child has been entered, on the motion of any party or on the motion of the judge, that portion of the judgment effecting visitation rights between the parties and their child or parenting time may be subject to review and modification or alteration without the necessity of any showing of a change in any material conditions and circumstances of either party or the child, provided that the review and modification or alteration shall not be had more often than once in each two-year period following the date of entry of the judgment. However, this subsection shall not limit or restrict the power of the judge to enter a judgment relating to the custody of a child in any new proceeding based upon a showing of a change in any material conditions or circumstances of a party or the child.