A custody order allows you and your co-parent to provide your child with a stable and consistent routine and schedule. Once you have a custody order in place, you are expected to follow its terms.
However, life is full of changes, and sometimes the terms of your custody order may no longer work for you. A new job, a move or a change in your child’s schedule could make the terms of your current custody order no longer workable.
Yes, but you must meet certain requirements
Texas law allows you to modify a custody order if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances and it is in the best interest of your child.
This means you cannot file a petition to modify your custody order for no reason or for a reason that the court deems not material or substantial.
For example, if you and your co-parent have shared custody and you file a petition to modify the custody schedule requesting primary custody because your co-parent was late returning your child one time, the court is not likely to consider that a major enough change to justify a modification.
What happens if your co-parent does not agree
If you and your co-parent agree on the modification, you can submit a proposed custody order to the court with your new agreement. If your co-parent does not agree to the proposed changes, they will have a chance to submit a response to your request.
Your case will then be scheduled for a final hearing where you will be expected to make arguments as to why your proposed modification is in your child’s best interest.
Before you file a petition to modify your custody order, it is best to get some professional advice and guidance about your situation. Your reasons for wanting the change might not be strong enough for the court and knowing that ahead of time can save you time and prevent your child from experiencing any stress or uncertainty.