Every day, your children grow, learn, and discover more about the world and themselves. The clothes they wore last year probably don’t fit anymore, and the books and toys they loved then may be too simple or immature for them now.
Meanwhile, you and your ex could have changed since your divorce. Changes in the lives of yourself, your co-parent and your kids could mean the details of your child support order are no longer practical or in the children’s best interests. Fortunately, you have the right to request a post-decree child custody modification from your county’s family court. Child custody orders can be changed whenever necessary to ensure the children always have a safe, stable and loving living situation.
Texas law allows parents to file a custody modification request in certain circumstances. The most commonly used reason is “the circumstances of the child… or other party affected by the order have materially and substantially changed” since the order went into effect. In other words, something about the child’s needs or circumstances, or one of the parents’ ability to share custody or have visitation time, has changed significantly.
Why do parents modify their child custody?
Common reasons that Midland parents seek a modification include:
- Addiction. If your co-parent has developed a serious drug or alcohol problem, they might have become unable to care for your kids.
- Moving. A parent hoping to move out of state or even several hours away by car could need changes in the custody order to make that happen.
- Parental alienation. If your ex is trying to poison your relationship with your child, or is not complying with the terms of the order (i.e., not showing up to transfer custody at the agreed time and place), that could be grounds for a modification.
- The child’s desires. Texas family courts will consider the desires of a child aged at least 12 if they wish to change the custody arrangement to live primarily with one parent or the other.
Whether you are seeking a change or oppose your ex’s request, experienced legal advice and representation are essential to protecting your children’s best interests.