The only thing constant in life is change. If you’ve previously gone through a divorce or child custody case, chances are, your circumstances have changed since you signed the dotted line. When those changes are significant enough, it may necessitate a modification of the existing order.
Our San Antonio family lawyers explain the process of modifying child custody in Texas.
Modifying Child Custody Orders in Texas
There are innumerable reasons why someone might seek to modify their existing custody order, but there are limited circumstances under which Texas courts will grant a request. You cannot seek to change your orders simply because you are unhappy with it.
In divorces and child custody cases, courts take careful steps to ensure the child’s best interests. They also follow this standard when someone seeks to modify their child conservatorship or possession and access order.
Under Texas Family Code, a court will permit a modification as long as one or more of the following requirements is met:
The conservator (usually one or both parents) or child’s circumstances have materially and substantially changed since the date of the current order or date of signing of settlement agreement;
The child is 12 years of age or older and has expressed a preference to the court as to who should have exclusive rights to designate his or her primary residence; or
The conservator who currently has the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence has voluntarily relinquished primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least six months.
The tricky part may be determining what changes qualify as “material and substantial.” In general, examples include changes in marital status, job relocations, unemployment, medical conditions, substance abuse, or abuse or neglect of the child.
Consult a San Antonio Child Custody Modification Attorney
All in all, you must remember that the courts will not modify the custody order unless the change reflects the child’s best interests. These cases can be complicated, and consulting a skilled family law attorney will be the best choice for you and your family. A qualified attorney will help you understand your options, navigate you through the process, and overcome any legal complications.
Contact Calfas Law Group, PLLC at (210) 405-8315 to get started on a free consultation with one of our child custody attorneys today.