Whether you set your own custody terms or a judge had to because you and your ex couldn’t agree on the specifics, your custody order is one of the most important pieces of paperwork from your divorce. It dictates when you get to see your children and which parental rights and responsibilities you have.
However, regardless of how careful you are when you create it or how thorough you try to be, your circumstances can always change in a way that makes your custody order more of a hindrance than a help. Texas law permits parents to ask the courts to modify their custody order.
The following three situations are just a few of the more common reasons why people need to seek a modification of their custody order.
When a parent’s work or living situation changes
Exactly how you split parenting time typically depends on when you work and your daily schedule. A parent who works third shift may have more weekends, well a parent who works from home might be the one who is the weekday parent much of a time. When your work situation changes, your custody plan often needs to as well.
When the needs of the children change
As kids get older, they start joining clubs and other activities that will require more time out of the house, financial investment and transportation. You and your ex will probably need to split those responsibilities. If your original parenting plan doesn’t address sports and other teenage needs like driving, you may have to integrate those into a modification.
When one parent isn’t providing a safe space for the kids
Although most divorced parents do a great job of working with their ex for the kids, some people succumb to mental health issues or addiction after a divorce or similar difficult life events. If your ex has become violent or neglectful, you may have no choice but to seek a modification to keep your kids away from an unsafe environment.
Any time there has been a significant, material change in your finances, household circumstances or living arrangement, you may need to consider seeking a modification to update and adjust your custody order. Your family law attorney can help.