If you’re divorced in Texas and have children with your former spouse, you should have a child custody agreement in place that specifies certain important information.
The custody agreement will specify the amount of parenting time your children will spend with you and your former spouse, which will include holidays and weekends. And because the court order was created with the best interest of your child in mind, both parents are required by law to follow the terms of that agreement.
However, circumstances do not always stay the same over time. A number of situations can result in the need to change the custody agreement and visitation schedule. You might be asking yourself, “Can custody agreements be changed?” The immediate answer is yes.
In Texas, parents who want to modify their custody agreement must follow the appropriate procedures and fill out official paperwork in their county. We encourage you to learn more about how this works to request modification of the original order.
Reasons to Modify a Child Custody Agreement
What worked for you and your ex-spouse at the time of your divorce may no longer be the best solution at the present time. Situations can change as time goes on, and different issues with the parenting plan may need to be addressed.
Some of the most common prompts for a change in physical custody or visitation can include the following:
- A change in jobs or work schedule for one or both parents.
- Parent relocation
- Parental criminal issues
- Custody violations
- Child preferences
- Death of a parent
- Parental substance abuse
While some of these issues may need to be immediately addressed for the sake of the child, other situations aren’t as urgent but still need to be addressed through the child custody modification process.
How Can Custody Agreements Be Changed if One Spouse Doesn’t Support the Change?
The modification process can be straightforward if both parents agree on the circumstances surrounding the requested change. However, the process will be challenging if you and your ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement on the reasons for a modification.
The starting point is understanding what the law allows. According to Texas Law, there are three types of child custody modifications:
- Modification by Agreement: This occurs when both parents agree on the issues in question (including the details listed in the modification suit).
- Modification by Default: When the parent requesting the modification serves the other parent, but he or she does not respond, the matter can be resolved without the input of the other spouse.
- Contested Modification: Some relationships are less than amicable, and parents don’t always agree on how to raise their children. In this case, the child custody arrangement will be reviewed at a hearing.
Regardless of whether you and your spouse agree on the custody modification, you will want to work with a family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and the available modification options.
Working with an attorney will help ensure that your parental rights are protected and that your change in circumstances is officially recognized by the court so that you can maintain a positive relationship with your child.
Find Support Requesting a Custody Modification
Working with a family law attorney to support your modification case creates tremendous advantages on the path to achieving your desired outcome. At Parker & Aguilar, our experienced attorneys can help you in the following ways:
- Guide you through the process to file a motion to modify the order in your county.
- Help you gather evidence to support your modification request.
- Present arguments on your behalf before the court.
We currently support parents in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, and Matagorda County. If you live in one of these counties, reach out to our attorneys to discuss your situation.
You can contact our offices at 979-267-7660 (Angleton office) or 281-944-5485 (Sugar Land office) to speak with one of our attorneys about how to file a petition in your county.
We understand that you may have additional questions beyond, “Can custody agreements be changed in Texas?” We are here to provide you with specific legal support during the modification journey. Get started today by placing a call to our office nearest to you.