The needs of parents and children can change over time, which is why custody agreements are not set in stone.
However, there are specific stipulations required by the court to allow modification.
When can you modify custody?
Whether your agreement was the result of a court hearing or a mediated settlement, you typically must wait a year after the initial agreement to file for modification and provide a reason that meets the court’s standard for “material and substantial change” in your life or your child’s life. However, the court may agree to see your case sooner should the child’s physical or mental health be in danger.
Who can request modification?
In Texas, either parent can request a modification of a custody agreement, even if you are a non-custodial parent.
What must you demonstrate?
The parent who files for modification of custody must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances and that modifying the order would be best for the child. If the child is 12 years old or older, the court will consider their wishes to modify.
What reasons does the court accept?
Some reasons the court accepts for modification of a custody order include:
- One parent suffers from substance abuse.
- One parent has a change in marital status.
- One parent either abuses or neglects the child.
- One parent needs to relocate for a job or faces unemployment.
- The changes are to accommodate a medical condition.
As with most states, the standard for changing a custody agreement in Texas is that it is in the best interests of the child.