When you divorced, you worked with family law attorneys to obtain a favorable agreement regarding child custody and visitation. Those agreements were most likely negotiated by your child custody attorney and were based on the personal circumstances surrounding you and your former spouse at the time of the divorce.
Personal circumstances change or one parent may fail to follow the current custody order. When this happens, you have the right to request with the help of your child custody lawyer that the family court make modifications to the original order.
What Is A Court-Ordered Custody Modification?
A court-ordered custody modification is a change to a current child custody order that is made by the family court. The purpose of a modification hearing is to resolve any issues that have arisen since the initial custody order was put into place. Either you or your former spouse, along with your child custody attorney, can file a petition for modification if it is based on the rules set forth by the State of Texas for custody modification.
When Can Modifications Be Made?
According to Texas law, a request to modify a custody order can be made for a variety of reasons by either parent with the help of his or her child custody lawyer. These petitions are primarily filed when circumstances have changed significantly enough to affect the well-being of the child or because one parent is failing to abide by current orders.
What are some of the common reasons for petitioning for a modification?
- Employment, financial or medical issues.
- Changes in marital status.
- Cases of abuse or neglect.
- Substance abuse by a parent.
- Withholding of child support.
- Prevention of visitation.
- Job relocation.
- Other circumstances that the court agrees are not in the child's best interest.
What Happens In a Custody Order Modification Case?
A parent who wishes to have a child custody order changed for a valid reason must first file a petition with the court, usually with the assistance of their family law attorneys. The petition is filed in the same court where the original custody order was granted unless the child no longer lives in that locality. In this situation, the case can be transferred to another family court.
After filing the petition, a citation is delivered to the other parent stating that a request to modify the custody order has been filed. The two former spouses and their child custody attorneys will then meet in an attempt to work out a new agreement to present to the court for approval.
If the parents do not agree on proposed modifications, the case will be set for a hearing in family court. A judge will then determine what modifications are necessary based on the information presented by each parent and their child custody lawyers and a new custody order will be set forth.
As family law attorneys stress, the goal of a custody order is to ensure that children of divorced parents receive the care and upbringing necessary to lead normal, healthy lives.
If changing circumstances have affected your child’s well-being in any way, child custody attorneys can help you request modification to a current custody order. Child custody lawyers agree that whether this new order involves mediation between parents or an order by the judge, court-ordered modifications should always be in the child's best interest.
Foreman Family Law
309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan TX 77803