AFTER DIVORCE: MODIFICATIONS AND ENFORCEMENTSBryan, Texas Child Custody Modification Attorney
Life happens. Situations change, people move, parents remarry, children develop health problems. Court orders and parenting plans may seem final when you first agree to them, but the truth is that’s not always the case.
The important thing is not to stress. If the life change is impactful enough, a judge will modify the original court order to reflect your new reality.
At C.E. Borman, we’ve been helping families in Bryan and throughout Texas through divorce and child custody cases for decades, so we know how unpredictable life can be. That’s why we’re committed to helping our clients modify court orders for custody arrangements or support payments.
Modifying Child Custody Arrangements
In order to prevent disruptions to your child’s life, Texas law provides limited circumstances under which you can modify an existing child custody order. As is always the case when discussing child custody, judges in Bryan consider the best interest of the child first and foremost.
In addition, your request must be made based on at least one of the following grounds:
- There has been a material and substantial change in the child or parent’s circumstances
- A child at least 12 years old has expressed a preference about their primary residence
- The custodial parent has voluntarily relinquished custody
Most child custody modification requests are based on the first ground. But determining which changes qualify as “substantial and material” can be somewhat tricky.
Grounds for Child Custody Modifications
At C.E. Borman, we have decades of experience in child custody and divorce cases. Below are some of the most common circumstances we’ve seen in which a judge will consider modification:
- A parent moves a great distance away, especially if they move out-of-state
- One or both parents remarry
- The child experiences extreme health issues
- A parent fails to provide the child with proper daily care or supervision
- One parent alienates the child from the other parent
- Extreme moral misconduct makes a parent unfit
- A parent is convicted of a crime
- A parent seriously abuses or neglects the child
- A parent becomes involved in drug or alcohol abuse
- Domestic violence becomes an issue
In our experience, the judge will typically view these situations as a “material and substantial change” to your child’s circumstances.
However, just because one of these situations occurs doesn’t mean that a judge will automatically grant a modification request. It’s our job to prove that the changes have negatively impacted your child, and that modifying the current order is in their best interest.
Child Support Modifications
Life changes don’t only impact custody arrangements – they can also impact your ability to pay child support. For example, job loss can reduce your net income dramatically, and is a common reason to request a modification.
It’s also important to consider that if primary custody changes, child support obligations will change as well. For example, if your child comes to live with you, their other parent will now have to start making child support payments.
Child support modifications are considered on basically the same grounds as custody modifications. If the change in income or circumstance is significant, and the requested modification will be in the best interest of the child, a judge is likely to grant it.
If you think your child custody or child support arrangement needs to be changed, it’s always worth discussing the possibility with an experienced family law attorney.
At C.E. Borman, we pride ourselves on offering honest, down-to-earth advice to our clients. The first thing that we will do is speak honestly with you about the potential for modifying your child custody order.
However, we are also committed to representing your and your child’s best interest at all costs. We have the experience and knowledge of the Texas court system to make sure your child gets the custody arrangement that they need.
We’ll sit down with you and come up with a plan that better suits your current situation. Then, we’ll walk you through submitting the modification request, and proving to the judge that your request is necessary and in your child’s best interest. Throughout the whole process, we’ll be by your side, fighting for your rights and your child’s needs.