Modifying Your Agreement When Your Circumstances Change
After your divorce, your life can change drastically and many unforeseen issues can become a fact of life. The family law courts understand this. After the initial creation of custody, child support, or spousal support arrangements, many factors can alter your circumstances.
At Labovitz Law Firm, our divorce modification lawyers in Arlington have over 16 years of legal experience dealing with family law matters. We know how things can change following a divorce, and we help our clients seek a favorable outcome through a modification. We will work with you to fully understand your needs and situation before making recommendations for how to proceed.
When Should I Seek a Modification Lawyer?
You may have found yourself with untenable living expenses, the emotional drain of your divorce may have led to losing your job, or your schedule may have undergone a dramatic shift. In cases like these, your parental visitation situation or child support arrangements may have become out of date.
We can work to assist our clients with a broad range of modification matters including:
- Additional support: If your child requires additional support from the non-custodial spouse due to changes in the cost of living, education expenses, or insurance, additional support may be called for. Increased child support payments can be pursued.
- Schedule changes: If your schedule has changed dramatically due to health or employment, it may be time to modify to your visitation arrangements.
- Spousal support: If your income has suddenly dropped due to loss of a job, you may be able to seek an increase to spousal support payments.
Child Custody Modifications in Texas
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 to 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 for 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 does not 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.
Contact an Arlington Family Law Attorney for a Free Consultation!
Should you hire our firm, you can rest assured that your case will never be passed off to a paralegal. Instead, your case will receive the attention it deserves from an experienced attorney. As a small firm, we are able to devote a great deal of attention to each of our clients and pursue the best possible outcome on each clients' behalf. Contact us for a free in-person consultation.