Children change constantly, and so do their needs. Families also change, as well as their circumstances. That’s why, here in Texas, it’s possible for you to modify your child custody and child support orders.
There are two primary reasons why people need modifications:
- A parent is in violation of the court order
- One or both parents brings a motion to change the custody order because of changes in circumstances
There are various ways in which a parent can be in violation of the order. Not respecting the visitation or custody agreement or failure to pay child support are common reasons. Visitation cannot be withheld as a punishment to the other parent.
If so, the parent can be found in contempt of court. The judge can rule that primary custody be given to the other parents.
Another common reason for custody modifications is changing circumstances that affect the children. For example, if one person finds sobriety, the parent may be granted more visitation or custody.
Any condition that is found dangerous for the kids can lead to modification. One example would be if one parent is dating a partner with a criminal history or someone who puts fear in the children.
Judges may grant modifications due to relocations or based on the wishes of the children. The child may become a teen and choose to live with the noncustodial parent. If the visitation schedule become impossible because one parent relocates too far away, this could lead to modifications.
In the case of the custodial parent’s death, the child’s custody needs to be reevaluated. Although at the top of the list of custodian candidates, the court needs to determine whether they are capable of being the new custodial parent.
There are times when the judge finds the children are best in the care of a third party.
How to Negotiate Custody Modifications
Oftentimes, a parent can negotiate a modification with the other parent. As co-parents, discuss the needs of the children and try to come up with a plan that works for the entire family, without incurring legal costs.
Arbitrations and mediations are usually much less expensive and faster. But not everyone can agree. If that’s the case, a modification can be ordered by the court. You need to be represented by a local Houston modification lawyer.
Your Houston attorney will help you negotiate with the other parent, file the proper legal documents and represent you in court. This improves your chances of getting the modifications you seek.
Children and families change all the time. We understand this. After a decade of being divorced, your needs, as well as those of your former spouse and the children, have drastically changed. There’s no shame in revisiting the custody order to ensure it’s still what’s best for the kids.
Don’t let the complicated process of Houston child custody modifications slow you down. Get the help you need. Call us about navigating and negotiating your child custody modification case today.