If you have a custody order in Texas, you may wonder if and when you can modify it. Maybe your ex-spouse is no longer complying with the agreement, or maybe you have concerns about your children’s safety or well-being. In this post, we’ll explain when you can modify a custody order in Texas and how the process works.
What Is a Custody Modification?
A custody modification is a court order that changes an existing custody agreement. In Texas, a court may modify a custody order if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances and it is in the best interests of the child. The party seeking modification must show that the conditions at the time of the prior order have changed and that modifying the order is necessary to protect the child’s well-being.
How Do You Show a Material and Substantial Change in Circumstances?
To show a material and substantial change in circumstances, you need to present evidence that compares the conditions at the time of the prior order with the current conditions. This may include testimony from witnesses, medical or school records, or other relevant documents. The court will consider the evidence and make a determination based on the best interests of the child.
For example, imagine a divorced couple who shares custody of their children. The mother has the exclusive right to designate the children’s primary residence, but the father becomes concerned when he hears from the nanny that the children are being abused by the mother’s new spouse. The father files a petition for modification of the custody order, seeking to have the exclusive right to designate the children’s primary residence. To grant the father’s request for modification, the court would need to find that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the prior custody order, and that modifying the order is in the best interests of the children.
What Factors Does the Court Consider?
In determining whether to modify a custody order, the court will consider several factors, including:
- The child’s emotional and physical needs
- The child’s preferences, if the child is old enough to express them
- The parents’ ability to provide for the child’s needs
- The stability of each parent’s home environment
- Any history of family violence or abuse
The court will also consider any other relevant factors that may affect the child’s well-being. Ultimately, the court’s decision will be based on what is in the best interests of the child.
What Should You Do if You Think a Modification is Necessary?
If you think a modification of your custody order may be necessary, you should contact the Blacknall Firm. Our experienced family law team can help you evaluate your case, gather evidence, and present your case to the court. We can also advise you on your rights and obligations under the law and help you protect your child’s best interests.
In the example we discussed earlier, the father would benefit from consulting with the Blacknall Firm who can help him evaluate his case and gather evidence to support his petition for modification.
Modifying a custody order can be a complex and emotional process, but with the right legal guidance, you can protect your child’s best interests and achieve the outcome you desire.
If you need representation for a custody modification or any other family law matter, don’t hesitate to contact The Blacknall Firm.