Texas family court recognizes that circumstances often change following a custody order.
Parents may petition for custody modification in the same court that produced the original order.
Grounds for modification
The parent requesting to modify the order must demonstrate substantial changes in circumstances. Common grounds for modification include:
- Relocation of one or both parents for work or educational purposes
- Concerns for the child’s safety
- Considering the child’s preference as they mature
- Changes in the child or parent’s mental or physical health
- Changes in a parent’s availability, such as a new work schedule
Ongoing conflicts or inability to cooperate between parents might prompt a custody adjustment.
The legal process
After one parent files, the co-parent will receive notification of a petition to modify. The court will schedule a hearing to review the evidence and determine if modification is necessary. Parents present their cases during the hearing and provide evidence supporting their claims for or against modification.
Best interests of the child
Texas is one of 22 states that list specific factors for courts to consider in making determinations regarding the best interests of the child.
To safeguard the child, the court evaluates the stability provided by each environment and determines which parent is most capable of offering it. While the judge may consider the child’s preferences, what the child wants is not necessarily in their best interest.
Ideally, both parents work together to create a new plan that accommodates necessary changes to the custody agreement. The court will likely verify it if the updated plan protects the child’s best interests.