When a divorce is final, you must abide by the terms outlined in the final order. However, it is possible to experience changes in your life that will make it difficult or impossible to adhere to the terms of your current custody and visitation order. This can be frustrating and overwhelming for a parent who is trying to be as active as possible in the lives of his or her kids. If you find yourself in this situation, there could be options available to you.
It may be possible to modify the current terms of your custody agreement. This could allow you to maintain critical access to your kids while also addressing your current circumstances. A custody and visitation order that once served your family well may no longer work for you, but it is within your rights to seek a change that will suit you and the best interests of your kids.
Common grounds for a modification
Even if you and the other parent are in agreement about changing the terms of your custody order, it is still prudent to seek a formal modification with a Texas family court. Some of the most common reasons why parents may need to seek a modification include:
- Significant changes in their work schedules
- The other parent refusing to abide by the terms of the order
- Changes in the preferences or needs of the children
- Change would lead to positive improvement for the children
The court will consider all factors before making a decision. The intent will be to protect the best interests of the kids above all else, but you have the right to present evidence and documentation that validates your need of a modification. Unless it is an emergency, you will have to wait a certain period of time since the last change, typically one year, before seeking a new modification.
Know your rights
You have the right as a parent to have an active role in the lives of your kids. It is in their interests to have access to both parents, and sometimes this may mean a modification to current visitation or custody terms are necessary. If you are unsure of how you should proceed with this process, it may helpful to start with an explanation of the specific legal options available to you.