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Can parents modify a custody order in Texas?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | Child Custody |

People in Texas try to plan for as much as they possibly can, especially if they have children. They try to determine which schools they will go to, which activities they will be involved in, which doctors they will see and many other aspects of their lives. However, life is unpredictable and sometimes parents need to change their plans. When parents are married, these changes are simply made based on the discussions and decisions made by the parents. This may not work if the parents are divorced though.

When parents go through a divorce with minor children generally there is a custody order that is in place. These orders state which parent will make decisions for the children as well as when the children will be in each parent’s care. If the parents divorce when they are young, the custody orders could be in place for many years. When new circumstances arise in the children’s or the parents’ lives, the current orders may no longer be in the children’s best interests.

Requirements for modifications

In these situations, the custody orders may need to be modified. The orders cannot be modified every time there is a change in plans though. In order to be modified, the circumstances must meet certain requirements.

One is there must be a material and substantial change in the circumstances. Another reason for a modification is if a child who is at least 12 years old wants to begin living primarily with the other parent. A modification is also allowed if the parent with primary residence decides to allow the child to live primarily with the other parent. Overall, any modification also must be in the best interests of the children.

There are many aspects of people’s lives in Texas which change over time. When the parents have current custody orders, they may need to modify the orders if they are no longer in the children’s best interests. The parents could reach agreements on their own, but if there are disagreements, the parents may need a judge to make the decision for them. Experienced attorneys understand modifications and may be a useful resource.