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Modifying a child custody order in Texas

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Family law

In Texas, circumstances can change, making it necessary to modify an existing custody order. Significant changes in a parent’s or child’s life, such as relocation, job change, or health issues, may warrant a modification. Understanding the legal grounds for these changes is crucial.

Legal grounds for modification

Courts require proof of a material and substantial change since the original order. The child’s well-being is always the top priority, and any modification must benefit their physical, emotional, and mental health. If the child is 12 years or older, the court may also consider their preference.

Steps to request a modification

The process begins with filing a petition to modify the child custody order in the same court that issued the original order. It is essential to ensure the other parent receives a copy of the petition and is aware of the modification request. Both parents then attend a hearing to present their cases, where the judge evaluates whether the modification serves the child’s best interests.

Factors the court considers

The court aims to maintain stability in the child’s life in these key areas:

  • Existing environment and routines.
  • Each parent’s involvement in the child’s life, including school activities and medical care.
  • The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community is also evaluated to determine the impact of potential changes.

What parents should know

Understanding the complexities of modifying a custody order in Texas is essential for parents. The process requires demonstrating significant changes and prioritizing the child’s best interests. By following the proper legal steps and presenting compelling evidence, parents can navigate this process effectively.