When can parents request child custody modifications in Texas?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2023 | Child Custody Disputes

Children constantly go through changes. As they gradually transition into adolescence, their needs and wants change as well. Accordingly, parents should adjust to facilitate their children’s growth and development. For divorced parents, one of the ways to do this is to update the child custody order terms, if necessary, to correspond with their children’s needs.

What instances warrant a modification?

Primarily, changes in the child or a parent’s circumstances that are material and substantial may justify alterations to the custody order. These changes in circumstances commonly include relocation, a parent’s change in employment or income status and an altered living situation that poses a threat to the child’s well-being.

Furthermore, the court may consider the express preference of a custodian of a child who is at least 12 years old to decide whether a modification is the right move.

Other possible grounds may include a clear violation of the current custody arrangement, concerns about a parent’s physical, mental and emotional fitness to care for the child, and a parent’s voluntary custody relinquishment for at least six months.

Will the court alter the order as soon as there is a change?

Child custody modification is not automatic. Either parent must file a petition to modify with the court that has authority over the child. The court will then review the petition and consider all factors with the child’s best interest and the parent-child relationship as top priorities.

Moreover, the petitioning parent must show that the current custody arrangement no longer serves the child’s interest and that the modification is necessary for the child’s uninterrupted growth and development. Hence, it is essential for the filing parent to carefully prepare the necessary documents and proof to substantiate the petition.