Life can change in a heartbeat. If you or your family have experienced a significant change in circumstances, you may be interested in knowing how to modify an existing court order.
For example, you may be responsible for making a certain amount of child support payments each month to your ex-spouse. However, if you took a pay cut or are currently looking for new employment, you could be eligible to modify the original child support order.
Working with a modification attorney is the right decision to see if you are indeed eligible to adjust the original order. And if you live in Brazoria County, Texas, it’s best to work with a local family attorney who can provide you with dedicated support. Find out why working with an attorney who practices in your region is beneficial!
Access Our Team of Family Law Attorneys in Brazoria County
Our law firm of Parker & Aguilar has an office in Angleton (104 W Myrtle St., Ste. 202, Angleton, Texas 77515) to serve the needs of our clients throughout Brazoria County. We work with families throughout the county, including:
- Lake Jackson
- West Columbia
- Surfside Beach
- More towns from the coast to South Houston
We have 20+ years of combined experience handling family law cases in the area. Because of our local knowledge of the family court system, we can quickly spring into action by providing you with modification support.
Let’s dive into the different types of modifications allowed by law in the state of Texas that we can help you with.
Types of Legal Cases Handled by a Modification Attorney
Which type of modification do you need for your family law case?
Child Custody Modification
– One of the most common reasons individuals seek a modification is for child custody.
Perhaps your schedule has changed, and it’s no longer feasible to uphold the terms of the visitation schedule. You don’t want to violate the terms of the agreement, and you don’t want to miss out on time with your children, so you may be interested in pursuing a modification.
The key is that you must be able to prove there has been a “material and substantial change” in your circumstances that warrant a formal change to the original order.
– Another common situation is wanting to pursue full custody of your child. If you believe the other parent is subjecting your child to abuse, violence, or neglect, you could file a motion to modify an order that argues for sole custody.
The state of Texas prefers that both parents have access to a child. However, a judge is compelled to act in the best interest of the child. To arrive at your desired outcome, you will need to present compelling evidence that proves it is not in the child’s best interest to spend time with the other parent.
A modification attorney can help you gather the appropriate evidence and present a strong argument on your behalf to compel the judge to modify the original custody order.
Child Support Modification
Going back to our earlier example, many parents in Brazoria County seek a modification to adjust their child support obligations.
Similar to requesting a change to child custody, you will need to prove that your circumstances “have materially and substantially changed” since the order was created and that you cannot satisfy child support payments to the other spouse.
– Alternatively, you could formally request a review of the child support order. Texas law allows for a review of child support obligations every three years from when the order was created or last modified to determine if the payments are still fair.
The court will consider modifying the order if the original order differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded right now according to the Texas child support guidelines.
In other words, the court will look at your current assets and income to determine what you should owe if creating a new order from scratch. If there is a substantial difference between what you currently owe and what you should owe, you could receive a favorable ruling from the judge.
Another opportunity to modify an order involves a legal divorce in Texas. There are two common examples of when you might want to modify a divorce order.
1. Unfair Agreement
One example of when you could pursue a divorce modification is that you have come to believe the divorce settlement terms are unfair.
For example, you may not have realized during the proceedings that you would lose access to a particular asset. And it did not register until the divorce was finalized that your life would be materially altered because you could no longer use the asset.
Instead of reopening the divorce settlement, you could pursue a modification to address the specific issue that you believe is “material and substantial.” Whereas reopening the settlement would cause you and your ex-spouse to painstakingly revisit the entire terms of the divorce, you could pursue a modification to formally alter some aspects of the settlement.
2. Alter Spousal Maintenance
Another reason you may want to modify a divorce is to address the amount of alimony (or spousal maintenance) you owe your ex-spouse.
For example, suppose your spouse re-married, became independently wealthy, or experienced another material change in life circumstances. In that case, you could argue that you no longer need to make spousal support payments to your ex.
Backed by evidence and a strong argument, you could petition the court to modify the original divorce settlement to remove your financial obligations.
Find Support with a Modification in Brazoria County
Since you’ve already been through the family law process, you know how challenging and time-consuming the process can be. When pursuing a modification, you want to work with a seasoned modification attorney who can handle a fresh set of legal issues.
By working with a local attorney who understands the system and the law, you can strive for a better outcome for you and your family.
Our law practice helps clients throughout Brazoria County. Get in touch with us to find the support you need throughout the modification process:
- Review your case.
- Determine if you should pursue a modification.
- Help you gather evidence.
- Form a strong argument.
- Present the evidence and argument before a judge.
Ready to get started? Contact our Angleton office at 979-267-7660 to schedule a consultation with our firm. We are here to help you with your case.