Modify Your Child Custody Order with the Help of a Family Law Attorney
When your initial child custody order was drafted, it took into account a range of lifestyle factors and the best interests of your child. However, as time passes, your custody order may not complement your circumstances any longer. Job relocations, medical issues, and changes in marital status are all reasons one parent may seek a child custody modification. Our team at The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt in Arlington, TX, can help you negotiate the modification process. Whether you and your co-parent wish to write a new agreement in mediation or you need representation in court, Donna has the resources to ensure you are treated fairly throughout the modification process. For more information on our custody services, contact our office online or call us at (817) 572-9900.
When Can Modifications Occur?
In Texas, there are only a few limited situations which allow for a parent to modify a child custody order. A judge will only alter an order if the change is in the best interests of the child and one of three conditions are met:
- The child is 12 years old or older and wishes to change their primary caregiver.
- There has been a substantial change in the circumstances of the child or parent since the original order or agreement.
- The custodial parent has voluntarily given the child’s care and custody to another. This condition does not apply in cases of military deployment.
Either parent can file a petition to change the order at any time. However, if less than a year has passed since a previous order was issued, the judge will likely require additional conditions be met.
At The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt, Donna and her team of family law attorneys have an advanced understanding of child custody cases.
What Counts as a Substantial Change?
To modify an existing order for children under the age of 12 or those who do not which to change caregivers, you must have a significant reason for requesting the change. In Texas, some common examples of a material and substantial change include:
- Job changes or relocations
- Medical conditions
- Changes in marital status of one or both parents
- Abuse or neglect of the child
- Substance abuse
If you have concerns about the safety or stability of your child, the court may consider it a sufficient reason to change an existing order as well. However, it is important to have evidence to support your claim. Our team can help evaluate the situation and pursue a quick custody change to protect your child.
Get the Support You Need
At The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt, Donna and her team of family law attorneys understand the complexities of child custody cases. If you wish to make a change to your agreement, Donna can sit down with you and your co-parent to develop a new custody plan to present to a judge. She can also provide representation in court to ensure the best interests of both you and your child are protected.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Child custody is a complex and often tense subject, especially if the parents are not on good terms. Our team is prepared to help you with any type of modification. To learn more about our custody services, contact our firm online or call today.