After a divorce is finalized, Georgia law allows the ex-spouses to return to court to modify child support or child custody arrangements. These proceedings can sometimes be very contentious, so it is important to enlist the help of an experienced Georgia family law attorney who can work to combat negative or unfounded allegations.
A recent Atlanta child custody dispute between the pop star Usher and his ex-wife Tameka Foster has provided an illustrative example of just how heated these cases can be.
At the hearing, Usher testified that his ex-wife was a violent person who has attacked Usher's girlfriend, spit on her, hit him and has threatened to kill them both.
Usher also testified Foster refuses to discuss the children's welfare with him and arbitrarily withholds visitation from him. He stated she consistently defies court orders, and that her actions "directly harm the best interests of the children."
Foster fought back, accusing Usher of being a bad father and saying that he prefers clubbing to be with his children. Accused of abusing drugs, Usher admitted smoking pot in the past but said testified he never used drugs around his children.
Citing their welfare as his primary concern, Usher has requested increased visitation with his children. Foster wants Usher's child custody stripped, and has requested that child support be increased due to Usher's "substantial increase in income" since their divorce.
In deciding cases like this, Georgia courts work to protect the best interests of the children. Allegations of drug abuse and violent behavior will certainly play a role in the court's decision. Further, a parent who withholds visitation from the other could find their own custody rights limited, or even revoked.