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Child custody modifications: When, why and how?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2020 | Child Custody & Support |

When you filed divorce papers in a Texas court, you may not have had any bad feelings toward your ex — you just wanted to achieve a settlement and go your separate ways so that you and your kids could move on in life with the least amount of negative impact possible. Perhaps you and the other parent were able to negotiate the terms of your child custody agreement.

This is a good sign that the two of you are willing to compromise and cooperate to serve your children’s best interests. Months or even a few years may have passed since then. As is often the case in life, new changes may have arisen that have made it difficult or, sometimes, impossible to comply with existing court orders regarding child custody and/or child support.

While it is possible to petition the court for modification of an existing court order, unless and until said petition is granted, you must continue to adhere to the existing order. If you don’t, the court may hold you in contempt, such as if you stop making child support payments or consistently ignore pickup and drop-off times regarding parenting time exchanges. Maybe you’ve lost a job, suffered an adverse health condition, got remarried and are supporting stepchildren or are facing some other issue. You must bring the matter to the court’s attention and explain why you believe your current circumstances provide legitimate cause to modify your court order.

Then again, you might be on the other side of a modification issue. Perhaps your ex has stopped making child support payments but never took the proper legal steps to request modification. At Vela & Fierro, an experienced team of family law attorneys are committed to helping Texas parents resolve even the most complex or contentious child custody or child support issues.