When Can You Request Child Custody Modifications in Houston, Texas?

If you have secured custody of your children after you and your ex got a divorce, the final custody order can be modified in the future as your circumstances change. As your children grow physically, emotionally, and mentally, your existing child custody arrangement may no longer work when your children reach the age of 12. This is the reason modifications to child custody are permitted in custody agreements. With your attorney’s help, you can request a modification that fits the current needs of your children. You can learn more about the process when you click here.  

When is a Custody Modification Allowed?

Family courts do not just grant child custody modifications out of the blue. In Texas, there are specific grounds for these to be granted. A child custody modification is possible when the circumstances of your child and their parents have significantly changed. Often, when the child turns 12 and shows a preference for a parent they want to stay with, a modification request can be filed. Lastly, the current child custody agreement can be modified when the custodial parent voluntarily gives away custody for a minimum of six months. The court will ensure the custody modification reflects the best interests of the child. 

Custody Modifications that Families Request

Typically, child custody modifications can be granted when the lives of the parents and the child have significantly changed. The following are common modifications that families request:

  • Pursuit for educational opportunities. If a child’s parent stays in zoning that would provide the child with a better high school or growth opportunities, a child custody modification may be granted to let the child modify their primary residence. 
  • Employment schedule change. If the custodial parent cannot provide the child with enough parenting time in their new job, modifying custody may be essential. The court will consider the change in the parent’s work schedule and ensure the new custody agreement reflects the modified schedule. 
  • Child’s preference to live with a specific parent.  If a child comes of age and decides to live with one particular parent, the court may consider this preference. This is particularly possible when the child is at least 13 years old. 
  • Substance abuse. If a parent has substance abuse problems, family judges may adjust the custody agreement to restrict the time this parent can spend with the child. Such an adjustment is necessary for the child’s best interests and to protect them from possible harm when they are with this parent. 

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