Texas family law provides important guidelines that help child custody lawyers and their clients come up with suitable possession arrangements during a divorce. Still, there are times when you may want or need to modify existing child custody orders if circumstances for you or your child change over time.
If one of the following three situations applies, family law attorneys can help you change a standard possession order if it is in your child’s best interest.
1. Substantial Change In Possession Arrangement
Custody and possession orders are always decided in accordance with what is in a child’s best interest at the time of the divorce. When situations change, child custody lawyers know that such orders may no longer be protective of the involved child. Considerations that could warrant a change in your possession order might include the following:
- Criminal acts or conviction of a criminal act
- Development of a medical condition that would affect your ability to properly care for your child
- Alcohol and substance use
- Family violence concerns
- Financial issues
- Failure to provide adequate care and supervision
- Relocation that makes visitation by the other parent impossible
- Other important reasons
In any of these instances, Texas family law says that current possession orders can be modified as needed based on what is determined by the court to be in the best interest of your child.
2. Relinquishment of Custody
Custody relinquishment is when the parent with primary possession voluntarily gives up custody to another person for six months or more, excluding military duty. When this occurs, whether it is you or the child’s other parent who relinquishes custody, family law attorneys and the court must reconsider all aspects of the situation to determine what is in your child’s best interest.
When attempting to determine whether the person your child has been relinquished to should be given legal possession, the court will carefully consider that person’s ability to properly parent your child. They will ensure that the person assuming care can provide for your child and make necessary decisions. Lawyers who work in the field of family law say the court will also consider your child’s emotional and physical well-being and their wishes if possible.
The goal in reassigning child custody in cases where possession is voluntarily relinquished is to ensure that your child is placed in an environment that stimulates his or her personal, emotional, moral, and disciplinary growth.
3. Request of the Child
When your child reaches 12 years of age, he or she may also request a change in their possession order. In these circumstances, your child will be privately interviewed by a family court judge who will listen to their request and the reasons behind it, then decide accordingly. The emphasis will still be on what is deemed to be in your child’s best interest; however, the court does recognize how this could change as children get older.
Standard possession orders assigned by family law court are those thought to be most protective for your child at the time of divorce. Child custody lawyers do realize that situations change over time. What was appropriate yesterday may not be today.
If your personal circumstances have changed and affect your child custody order, family law attorneys can help you have the order modified. As long as your request is warranted and reflects the best interest of your child, the desired change may be granted.
Foreman Family Law
309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan TX 77803