Self-executing change of custody orders are problematic and will be overturned by Georgia courts on appeal.  What is a self-executing change of custody provision?  A custody  provision that provides for an automatic change of custody based on a future event without having judicial scrutiny.  The legal objection to “self-executing” changes is that the triggered change of custody might not be in the children’s best interest.  Georgia law requires that the trial judge consider the factual situation at the time custody modification is sought.

An example of a self-executing change of custody?   a provision stating if the primary custodian moves out of Fulton County, primary custody automatically changes to the other parent.

Parents have sometimes agreed to self-executing changes of custody trying to avoid potentially having to return to Court, but such provisions can backfire and must be avoided based on recent Georgia cases.

Karen S Hindson, Hindson & Melton LLC