The court may reserve jurisdiction to modify a final decree for alimony only under the following conditions:
- where there is no jury trial as to the issues in question: and
- the issues were settled by an agreement which was incorporated into the final decree and made the judgment of the court; and
- the agreement as incorporated reserved jurisdiction in the court to modify the terms of the decree in question. The above procedure was the only method by which a decree could be modified until the passage of the 1955 act provided a statutory procedure for modification. However, since the 1955 act was remedial in nature and apparently designed to provide an additional method for modification, the right to reserve jurisdiction to modify is still effective. Although the usual issues of modification deal with alimony or child support, there is no logical or apparent legal prohibition against modification of other terms of the agreement incorporated in the decree for example, modifying the terms of a trust fund for education etc. or for example modifying the decree to require the mother to share one half of the medical costs. The trial court acting alone nor the jury without the consent of the parties may reserve jurisdiction to modify a final decree. Furthermore, after decree becomes final the parties may not voluntarily or by subsequent agreement modify its terms, even though the agreement is later made the order of the court by consent. Rather, the agreement must’ve been incorporated into the original judgment, and thereafter either party may make application to the court for modification pursuant to the terms of the decree.
- An action for change of custody or habeas corpus action where the court transfers custody from one parent to the other the order may provide concurrently that the child support shall thereafter be paid to the new custodial parent. Attorney fees are not recoverable where the noncustodial parent seeks a change in custody. Owen v. Owen, 183 Ga. App. 472 (1987). contact a douglas county lawyer today.