If you have a child custody agreement that requires changes, you may be wondering if it is possible to modify your orders. The good news is that you can request modifications to be made to your child custody orders, however, there are some things you should know about modifying your custody orders in Texas. Below we’ll go over the details of custody modifications.
When Can I Modify My Child Custody Orders?
In Texas, either parent can file a petition for a child custody modification, at any time. This means that you can modify the orders to suit life changes, such as moves or new jobs, or if you feel that the current custody orders are no longer in the child’s best interests.
To file a petition, you will need to file the correct paperwork with the court that originally issued the custody order, unless the child has moved. If this has happened, the case can be transferred to the child’s new county of residence. After the petition has been filed, there are two courses your modification case can take.
The first is an undisputed modification, where both parents agree that a modification is necessary. You will submit a proposed custody order that reflects the changes you have agreed upon, and the judge will review the proposal. If they agree that it is in the child’s best interests, the judge will approve it and it will become legally enforceable. Modifications are simple and easy if both parents agree.
If you and your co-parent do not agree, however, the process can be more difficult. You will need to appear before a judge and defend your needs to change the custody order. The parent who wished to make the modification will need to demonstrate one of the following situations is true:
- The child is at least 12 years of age and wishes to change which parent is the primary caregiver.
- There has been a material and substantial change in circumstances.
You will also need to demonstrate how the modification will be in the best interest of the child, since this is of the highest importance to the court. If you are seeking a modification for significant life changes, it’s important to understand what may be considered such a change.
In Texas, the courts have interpreted this to mean events such as:
- Changes in marital status of the parents
- Relocations for work reasons
- Medical conditions or health events
- Abuse or neglect of the child by either parent
- Substance abuse
If your situation doesn’t meet the court requirements, you will not be eligible for a modification. If your case does qualify for a modification, then you will need to demonstrate how the changes are in the best interests of your child.
Do you require a modification to your child custody arrangements? Don’t wait to contact our Katy child custody attorneys at the Adams Law Firm today. Our experienced legal team is here to assist you with all your family law needs.
Contact our firm online or call (281) 764-6087 to schedule a case evaluation today.