While a child custody agreement may work when children are young, it often needs changes when they grow older. Even when the parents agree on these changes, you should consider officially modifying your custody agreement with the court.
Review the factors that influence child custody modification in Texas.
Changes within one year
In most cases, you must wait a year from the original agreement before requesting a change in custody in Texas. However, the state does allow changes before the one-year mark in these three circumstances:
- You request changes as the parent with primary custody or the parent who has primary custody agrees with your requested changes
- The parent who has primary custody has let the child reside with someone else for at least six months, except if he or she is on active military deployment
- The child’s current home environment puts him or her at risk of emotional or physical harm
You must petition the court along with a declaration form that supports one of these situations.
Changes after one year
After a year, you can submit a petition to modify custody without a declaration. Noncontested modification occurs when both parents agree, but must receive approval from the judge to become legally binding.
If the other parent does not agree with your requested custody changes, the court will hold a hearing at which you can both present evidence to support your case. Generally, the judge will hear both sides and make the custody decision that supports the child’s best interests. Someone who is not the child’s parent can request a custody change only when he or she appears in the current custody order.