As time goes on in Texas, people’s lives change for many different reasons. Who they were five or ten years ago may not be who they are today. So, people will need to adjust their lives accordingly to how they may have changed or due to the circumstances which caused the change. This could be true for child custody and parenting time plans as well. What may have worked when a couple divorced may not work five or ten years later as the children grow older or the lives of the parents change.
So, it may be necessary for people to modify the custody order. However, people need to show more than simply that they are not happy with the situation or that their ex is bothering them. In order to to modify a custody order the situation must meet certain criteria.
One is that there has been a material and substantial change since the time the order was first issued. However, there is not a specific definition of what is a material and substantial change. People could also modify a custody order in situations when the child, who is at least 12 years old, tells a judge who they want to live with or if the custodial parent allows another person to provide primary care for the child for at least six months. This does not apply for parents who are in the military and deployed though.
Ultimately if the circumstances have changed substantially, the modifications of a custody order will be based on what is in the best interests of the children though. While there are many changes that occur in people’s lives, it does not necessarily mean that it is in the best interests of the child to modify the current custody order.
Many people in Texas may want to change their current custody order because it does not seem to be working any longer. However, that by itself may not be enough to change it. People must demonstrate that the criteria for one of the situations above has been met. These are very fact-specific matters though and depend on the unique circumstances of the individual families’ situations. Experienced attorneys understand these matters and may be able to guide one through the process.