Parents who share child custody have faced considerable obstacles in recent months. And with the start of a new school year around the corner, many parents are anticipating even more adjustments. For some parents, these changes prompt them to consider custody modification.
However, parents don’t need to wait for a pandemic to reassess their custody schedule. There are several signs that it may be time to seek a modification of their custody order.
Signs it is time to seek a custody modification
- Your child is old enough to have an opinion on where to live. When your child turns 12, he or she can have more input regarding where to live. At this point, if your child prefers a different arrangement, parents or courts may agree to a modification.
- One or both parents has a new job. If a parent gets a new job that comes with new travel requirements or different hours, changing custody and visitation plans can be appropriate.
- A parent is no longer accessible. Inaccessibility could be the result of a new job, new relationship, incarceration or relocation. Under such circumstances, it could be necessary to change that parent’s rights regarding time with and access to a child.
- The original order was put in place several years ago. It can be wise to revisit a custody agreement every few years. If it no longer aligns with a child’s best interests or a parent’s wishes, a modification could be the answer.
- A child’s well-being is in danger. If a parent endangers a child or is no longer capable of providing a safe and stable environment, changing the custody order can be critical.
Methods of modification
There are generally two ways to pursue a custody modification in Texas: cooperatively or in court.
Parents who agree that the original order is no longer feasible or best for a child can propose a new plan and seek the court’s approval.
If parents cannot agree on whether or how to modify custody, one parent can file a petition to change the order. In these situations, a judge will listen to both sides and make a decision.
Whatever reasons you may have for modifying a custody order, doing so properly and through the appropriate channels can protect your rights as a parent and your child.