This case involves child custody and what happens when parents move out of state.
In 2013, Jackie’s client, the father, was divorced and his ex moved to Florida. In 2015, the father took legal action to change the custody agreement because he was being denied visitation. He got an additional week of visitation with his son during summers. The next month, he filed for custody of his son.
Then in 2016, both parents moved away from Georgia. The mother then asked the court to dismiss the father’s request for custody. The reason given was that the court no longer had jurisdiction in this custody case. Next, the case went to trial.
The father lost in Trial Court. He didn’t give up on his son and Jackie appealed. The Court of Appeals said, ‘we agree.’ Again, the father and Ms. Fortier did not give up! They wanted to continue.
The next place to go is the Georgia Supreme Court, which hears cases of all kinds every year. In 2018, it decided to hear only one family law case, and it was Jackie’s! Amazingly, the Georgia Supreme Court agrees to consider only 10 percent of the kinds of petitions that Jackie made. She got in, and on September 10 she traveled to Atlanta to make her arguments.
On January 22, 2019, the Georgia Supreme Court decided in the father’s favor and he is going to fight for custody of his son again.
Ms. Fortier is awaiting a ruling from the Georgia Court of Appeals pursuant to the Georgia Supreme Court’s direction.