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Seeking modification of child custody or support

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Child Custody & Support |

When a pair of Texas parents decide to divorce, their children’s well-being is a top priority and is typically a central focus of proceedings. It’s not uncommon for parents to disagree about certain issues, but they must reach an agreement to finalize a divorce settlement. Once there’s a court order in place, both parents must always adhere to the terms of the agreement. If child custody or child support modification is necessary, one must file a motion in court.

Even if you and your ex agree to a prospective modification, you must first seek and gain the court’s approval. Making a private agreement between the two of you is not a good idea because the terms would not be legally enforceable. For example, if the court orders you to pay $100 per month in child support, but you lose your job and your ex agrees to $50 per month until you find new employment, the court will not recognize it as a valid modification.

Common issues that compel child custody or support modification requests

The following list shows several of the most common reasons why parents who have divorced might seek child custody or child support modification:

  • Loss of income of parent who pays support
  • Pay raise of parent who pays support
  • Custodial parent wants to relocate out-of-state with child
  • Children’s financial needs have changed

You must continue to adhere to the original terms of agreement unless and until the court grants modification. If the court denies the request, then the existing court order and terms of agreement remain in effect and are legally enforceable.

Interpreting children’s best interests

The court always has children’s best interests in mind when making child custody or child support decisions in a Texas divorce. How, though, does a family court judge determine what is best? Most judges consider factors like parental physical and mental health, income, how close of a bond the children had with each parent before the divorce and more.

The court may act at its own discretion when reviewing the unique merits of each child custody or child support case. If you wish to seek modification of an existing court order, you must be prepared to provide a legitimate reason or evidence to show that the requested changes are in your children’s best interests. If a dispute has arisen between you and your ex, you may choose to retain legal representation rather than trying to handle the case on your own.