A lot can change in the years following a divorce and creation of a custody schedule. Children grow up; parents get remarried or find new jobs; financial circumstances often fluctuate.
Considering all that can change in the lives of parents and children, it can be important for parents with custody and visitation agreement to understand when and if that agreement might change.
When modification can be appropriate
In accordance with Texas modification laws, there are three events that could justify a modification of an order. These three events are:
- A material or substantial change in a child or parent’s circumstances
- A child expressing his or her preference to the court (as long as he or she is at least 12 years old)
- Voluntary relinquishment by the parent with primary custody
Material changes in circumstances are perhaps the most common reason for a parent to request modification. However, it can be easy to misunderstand this legal requirement. Changes that are temporary or insignificant in the context of custody arrangements may not result in modification. For instance, if you move across the city, modification may not be granted. If you want to move to a new state, on the other hand, you will likely need to have a custody order modified.
It is important to note that in addition to there being grounds to modify possession of or access to a child, courts must also determine that modification is in the best interests of the child.
Resolving modification issues
If your ex is attempting to modify your custody agreement, or if you want to pursue modification, then it can be critical to understand your legal options. These agreements are vital to the parent-child relationship and the well-being of the child, so modifications should not be made lightly or without legal counsel.