A lot of people Run into issues where they begin to realize that their custody orders no longer work for them or their children. The question is whether you can change or modify these custody orders once they have been established by a family court. You can remember all the stress and time that went into the creation of court orders related to your children's period now that the case is over it is only natural to wonder whether or not you would be able to go back and change the order that you have created with your Co-parent.
The truth is that circumstances change over the period it is unrealistic to think that your family would be able to follow the same orders forever. Even small changes to work schedules, school schedules, or anything in between may result in the need to modify your court orders. As a result, you should consider a modification if one of the best interests of your children is no longer served by the court orders. When and how you could go about modifying those court orders is the real question that you need to consider.
Child custody modifications happen every day in Texas family law courtrooms. The key to being able to modify one of these court orders is to have a plan and to think through the issues of your case before filing a motion for modification. If you want to do what is best for your family then a modification can oftentimes help you to accomplish this goal. Many times, families in your position will suffer through a circumstance where a custody order no longer suits them well. All the while arguments and disruptions to family life occur simply because you all have outgrown the prior version of your orders.
This is not something that your family has to deal with on an ongoing basis, however. You can take matters into your own hands and adjust those orders based on the current circumstances of your family. However, to do so you need to think critically about the needs of your family now and in the future. The basis for your modification must be signed in something where your children are seeing an impact in their lives. Even if the proposed change has more to do with you than with your kids whatever that change would be needs to be in the best interests of your children.
In today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we are going to talk about child custody modifications in Texas. While changing or updating a child custody order is not something that is out of the question the fact remains that it can be difficult to accomplish for you and your family if you are not prepared. A family court judge will be looking for specific instances and circumstances when considering your application for a modification. Unless you are prepared to present the information a judge needs to see an otherwise viable modification request may be denied.
What do you need to prove in a modification case? In the new paragraph where the rubber hits the road, you need to be able to show a family court judge that a material and substantial change has occurred in your life, your Co parents’ life, or that of your children to have your requested modification approved. What this should tell you is that you cannot simply ask for a modification based on Eddie's insignificant change in your life or that of your children. Rather, the change you need to be looking for is a run that impacts your life in that of your children in a significant manner. This can sound somewhat daunting but can be done with a little bit of knowledge and planning.
A material and substantial change require you to be able to show a judge that your life or that of your children or Co-parent has changed to such a degree since the last time a court order was issued that your current child custody orders no longer work well. Family court judges are never overly eager to modify or change an existing child custody order. As a result, you will need to be able to show a judge that the change you are requesting is based on your petition to modify the child custody order you will be asked to complete and an affidavit stating the circumstances that led to your filing the modification.
an affidavit is a sworn statement under oath. This means that the information provided in the affidavit it is the same as the information that you would give while testifying on a witness stand. Therefore, you must be truthful about what you are saying in the affidavit as you would be while on the witness stand under both. If the family court judge who reviews your petition believes that you have met the burden of showing a material and substantial change in circumstances, then your modification case will be allowed to proceed.
From there, you can engage in negotiation with your Co-parent about the modification that you are seeking. There may be some middle ground that the two of you can find on a wide range of subjects. It is a good idea to speak with your Co-parent about the changes that you are seeking even before filing the modification. If the two of you can work through some of those issues on your own before the case is filed, then it may not take long for your case to be resolved.
On the other hand, filing your modification without first having consulted with your Co-parent can be a major mistake. It can seem like you are trying to sneak around on your Co parents if you attempt to file a modification without consulting with him or her first period rather, you can't determine what sort of middle ground there might be between you and your Co-parent of this subject and then file the case. There is no harm in doing so. Rather, working with your Co-parent in this regard can help to solidify your Co-parenting relationship and put you in a better position to able to build trust with him or her in the future.
If the two of you cannot work through a resolution regarding whatever matter, you are trying to modify then the next step in the process would be to attend a trial or even a temporary orders hearing depending upon the circumstances of your modification. If you are trying to substantially change the custody arrangement for your child, then additional work may be needed. Modifying for custody purposes is a common reason why you may be wanting to file a modification. Understandably, if your Co-parent is satisfied with the prior custody orders, he or she may be not that exciting to engage in negotiation with you. At the same time, however, he or she may understand that if a modification is likely to be granted by a family court judge that it is in their best interest to negotiate with you wherever possible.
Circumstances that could lead to a modification
I would like to spend some time walking with you through certain circumstances that may be relevant to your life. These are circumstances that I have seen other people in your position file for modification cases with. Even if you are not currently able to file for a modification you may want to consider your options after reading today's blog post. It is never a bad thing to be prepared for taking steps to better the lives of your children. Starting to think more about a modification case now means that you will be better situated to do so in the future if that becomes something that you think could benefit your family.
As I mentioned a moment ago, situations involving child custody oftentimes relate to which parent would be named as the parent who has the right to determine the primary residence of children. Being able to determine the primary residence of your children is an important right to have for many reasons. First, this parent typically will have the children more often than the parent who has only visitation rights. A standard possession order typically allows for a parent to his visitation to see the children on the first, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month. Holiday visitation is split evenly and the parent with visitation rights what have extended time of at least one month consecutively with the children in the summer. However, at other times of the year, the custodial parent would have superior visitation in possession rights.
With that said, you can begin to think about your chances of being approved for modifications if that is your goal. Asking the family court to modify the conservatorship regarding the right to determine the primary residence of your children is probably the most important request you can make. Not coincidentally, it is also one of the most difficult kinds of modification cases to win. The family court judge will not want to change the lives dramatically have your children unless it is abundantly clear to the judge that doing so there's in your children's best interest. As a result, you need to be ready to present your case to a judge to show why this important and dramatic change is needed.
It could be that a condition that was present at the last time court orders were issued is no longer in place. For example, you may have since changed jobs from one where you worked in an abnormal work schedule to one where you now work a standard 9 to five. If you have greater flexibility as far as caring for your children, then being the primary conservator becomes easier. Part of being a primary conservator means being available to your kids after school, before school, and in emergencies. Changing your job to accommodate these sorts of situations can be a material and substantial change.
Next, there may be something having to do with your Co-parent which is the material and substantial change that you are basing your modification case on. An example of this could be your Co-parent developing some sort of drug or alcohol addiction that no longer means your Co-parent is the more suitable parent for primary custody. If you can present evidence proving that a drug or alcohol addiction is in place for your Co-parent, then this can be a game changer when it comes to modifying primary custody rights.
Next, you may be interested in a modification case from the perspective of a parent who needs to have your child's support modified. We are going to talk about this subject from the perspective of a parent who receives child support as well as from the perspective of a parent who pays child support. No matter if you pay child support or receive child support you need to understand the type of circumstances that can and should lead to a modification request. In times when everyone is having trouble stretching a dollar as far as they will possibly go, the need to make sure that child support is accurate can be of the utmost concern for families like yours. Fortunately, some good rules of thumb can be followed when it comes to working through these types of issues.
If you are a parent who will be requesting a modification for an increase in child support, then doing so after finding out your Co-parent has gotten a new job, or a pay increase is a solid reason to file for a modification. However, presenting information to a family court judge that your Co-parent has a new job and therefore your child support should increase is not going to be sufficient. Rather, you will need to be able to show the judge actual evidence about the increase in his or her income. You may need to submit a discovery request for your Co-parent to get access to his or her pay stubs to verify their income. Depending upon the increase in their income you may be in line to receive a substantial increase in child support.
On the other hand, you may be in a position where you need to ask a court to reduce the amount of child support that you pay. In a situation where you have lost your job or taking a new job with reduced hours then your child support may need to be decreased as a result. Remember that it is your net monthly income that matters when it comes to child support considerations. You should be prepared to present evidence showing a reduction in your income and a proposal for what your new child support obligation should be based on the significant change in circumstances.
Once you file your modification you and your Co-parent can spend some time negotiating together on this subject. The two of you may be able to work together to clear the air on child support and arrive at a figure that is more in line with the realities of your circumstances. If not, you will be able to present your evidence 2 a family court judge to show either Y or child support should go up or wild child support you pay should be decreased.
When it comes to child support, possession time and everything in between these are some of the most important discussions and subjects in all of parenting. Asking a child custody court to modify orders is not insignificant. You need to be ready to show why your requested modifications should be granted as well as what sort of relief should be provided to you. These are important questions to be asked and you need to be prepared When you come to a family court. In my experience, the best way for you to make arguments and be prepared for situations involving child custody modification would be to hire an experienced family law attorney.
specifically, working with one of the experienced family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can be the advantage that you need to have your requested modification granted. The truth about modification cases is that family court judges ordinarily do not want to grant the modification that you are asking for. They would much rather let the orders remain where they are and not change anything significant in your life or that of your children. However, if you are persuasive with your arguments and diligent about how you present evidence then you have a fighting chance to be approved in whatever you're requested modification will be. Meeting with an experienced family law attorney from our office can be the first step that you take to gain competency and competence in the modification you are requesting.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.
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The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding CPS, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX CPS defense Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our CPS defense lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles CPS defense cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.