Ask a Divorce Lawyer: Custody issues when deployed overseas in the military

Question:  We are currently overseas with the military. My husband’s ex lives in Georgia. We recently had custody changed for him to have primary physical custody and joint legal custody for his son, while his ex has primary physical custody and joint legal custody for their daughter. 

Since the custody has changed, so has the support. So my husband started paying her the new amount. She still has his son because he has to go through a process to get him overseas on his orders. She is now mad because she thinks she should get the old amount of support and now is threatening to take him back to court. 

Is that possible since we just recently changed custody? And also, was it legal for my husband to pay her the new support since everything is filed and signed by the judge?




Answer:  I must preface my answer that I do not practice in Georgia.  However, Cordell & Cordell has many attorneys licensed and located in Georgia who would be happy to help you. Each state has different laws governing child support.  It is important that you contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Georgia prior to taking any action.

Addressing your inquiry about your husband’s ex-wife taking him back to court, a party may always petition the court to do something.  It does not mean that the court will grant the petition.  Our court system is designed to allow anyone to bring suit against another no matter how frivolous.  The court will dismiss these claims once filed, but it cannot stop them from being filed.  In short, she can petition the court to reinstate the child support back to its original amount until your husband’s son joins him.  Just because she files the petition does not mean that the judge will change the amount of support already ordered. 

To answer your second question, based on the facts that you have given me your husband did the correct thing by paying the new amount of child support as ordered by the court.  If the judge issued an order stating the amount of child support he owes, then it should be paid accordingly.  He should continue to pay this amount unless the judge orders him to pay something different.


Steven “Lee” Akins, Jr. is a Staff Attorney in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Mr. Akins practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations. He received his BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University and continued his education to receive his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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