Can I Modify a Child Custody Agreement?
In Texas, either parent may file a petition to modify a child custody order. This petition must be filed in the county where the child currently lives.
Factors of Modification
If both parents agree that the current custody agreement needs modification, the process is relatively easy. All the parents need to do in this case is submit their newly created custody arrangement to the court. The court will then review the modification and (in most cases) approve the order.
However, if the parents cannot agree on, or for, the need of a modification, the process is lengthier. Both parents will need to go to court and present their case to a judge.
The parent wishing to make modifications must prove that:
- the child is at least 12 years old and would like to change their primary caregiver;
- there is a substantial change in circumstance that warrants a modification; and/or
- the changes to the order would be in the child’s best interest.
If the child is under 12 years old and/or doesn’t want to change their primary caregiver, the order can’t be modified unless the change in circumstance is substantial.
A substantial change in circumstance could be if either parent:
- has a change in marital status;
- relocates for work;
- becomes unemployed;
- has a medical condition that prevents them from caring for the child;
- has abused or neglected the child; and/or
- has a substance abuse issue.
In any scenario, a court will not modify an order unless the changes are in the best interests of the child. When determining this factor, a court will consider the child’s relationship with both parents as well as their needs and wishes.
Providing Legal Help for Custody Issues
If you and your former partner are having issues modifying a custody order, our child custody and visitation attorneys are here for you. We have extensive experience with many custody issues and will do everything in our power to help you find the right solution for all parties involved.
Call our firm today at (817) 374-4056 or contact us online for your free consultation.