When it comes to Texas custody cases, it’s important to understand the difference between clarification and modification of an order. While these two processes may seem similar, they are actually quite distinct and have different requirements and outcomes.
Clarification of an Order
A court may clarify an order in a Texas suit affecting the parent-child relationship if it finds the order lacks sufficient specificity to be enforced through contempt. Clarification is meant to clear up any confusion or ambiguity in the original order, but it cannot make substantive changes to the order.
For example, let’s say that a court order states that parents must put each child in a single extracurricular activity at a time, but the order is not clear on who is responsible for transportation to these activities. In this case, a court may clarify the order to specify who is responsible for transportation, but it cannot change the overall requirement that each child can only participate in one activity at a time.
Modification of an Order
On the other hand, if a parent wants to make a substantive change to an existing court order, they must file a modification suit. In order to obtain a modification, a parent must show that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances and that the modification will be in the best interest of the child.
For example, if a parent wants to change the original order so that each child can participate in multiple extracurricular activities, they must file a modification suit and show that the change is in the best interest of the child.
The Key Difference
The key difference between clarification and modification is that clarification is meant to clear up confusion or ambiguity in an existing order, while modification is meant to make substantive changes to the order. It is important to understand the difference between these two processes and to follow the correct process when seeking changes to a court order in a Texas custody case.
In conclusion, as a Dallas family lawyer, I have seen many cases where parents have attempted to make substantive changes through clarification, only to have their efforts rejected by the court. If you are seeking changes to an existing court order in a Texas custody case, contact the team at The Blacknall Firm.