A Texas custody order outlines how parents share time with and are empowered to exercise authority over their minor children. Family law statutes in Texas typically require that the parents cooperate to the best of their abilities. Usually, the adults in a family find a way to work with each other to do what is right for the children. Even if there are certain details in their custody order that they are unhappy with, they are required to abide by those terms unless there is reason to ask the courts to change the existing order.
A modification request is a formal attempt by one parent to officially change an existing custody order for a family in Texas. Modification can be a viable option for those sharing parental authority with another adult when co-parents agree to modify existing terms or when one parent seeks a contested modification under certain circumstances.
The situation has significantly changed
Usually, the courts will only consider reviewing and updating an existing custody order when there is reason to believe that the circumstances have changed significantly. Someone’s diagnosis of a major health issue, a change in employment or new school schedules could all be scenarios that might potentially justify a modification request. A parent who was previously not in a position to take care of their children but who has improved their circumstances might also benefit from a modification that will update their arrangements.
One parent doesn’t consistently “parent”
Sometimes, modification requests occur not because of changes to the family schedule or an improvement in someone’s situation but rather due to one adult’s non-compliance with the parenting arrangements. Perhaps someone refuses to let the children spend time with the other parent, or maybe they never show up for their parenting time. When there is documentation of one adult consistently deviating from the custody order, the courts may agree to make changes that better reflect the current family circumstances.
Additionally, if one parent fails to meet the needs of the children, possibly by being negligent or abusive during their parenting time, their inability to provide the children with the stability, resources and guidance they require may also justify a significant change to the custody order.
Provided that a Texas family law judge agrees that the situation warrants a modification, they may alter the existing custody order to better reflect what they currently believe would be in the best interest of the children. Some parents pursue uncontested modifications where they cooperate through mutual agreement because they agree on whatever changes are necessary.