Whether it’s due to the way COVID-19 has changed life and schedules for many or some other concern, summertime is the prime time” that many requests for modifications to child custody agreements are made in Texas.
This is especially so when kids make complaints to one parent about the other during summer vacation, leading some to question whether their custody situation needs to change
If you’re considering modifying your Texas custody order, summer is the time to get started so things are settled before school resumes again in August.
A lawyer familiar with custody modifications can offer advice as to whether your reasoning qualifies and help you get the ball rolling to have those changes made as soon as possible.
What Qualifies for A Custody Modification in Texas?
When family situations change, Texas parents may be able to request a modification of their custody agreement if a valid reason can be presented as to why it should be changed.
Stipulations supporting a parent or parents making a custody order modification for a child under the age of 12 include:
- Change in employment status.
- Job relocation.
- Change in marital status.
- Medical condition.
- Neglect, abuse, or substance abuse by a parent
For a child 12 or over, these additional stipulations also support a request for a change to the custody agreement:
- The child agrees to the modification or wishes to make one due to unhappiness with the current agreement.
- A substantial and material change has occurred that affects the child’s life.
- The change is in the best interest of the child.
When parents agree on the changes, custody attorneys find that modifications can be approved rather swiftly.
When they don’t and only one parent or the child wants the modification, it requires both parents to appear in court where a judge can decide whether a change is warranted.
Custody Modifications and School Placement
If a custody modification is likely to affect where your child attends school, custody lawyers strongly recommend filing the request early so it can be finalized prior to school reopening as changing schools after the school year has already started could make the change harder on the child and as a result, be declined.
Getting a modification made could also take longer if one parent contests the change.
Therefore, parents should speak with his or her child custody attorney about changing custody agreements with adequate time to plan and work out any disagreements.
This does leave enough time to prepare kids for a change in school placement if one is necessary so they can settle into a new neighborhood first and then school when it opens.
Start Custody Agreement Modifications Now
Though the family court in Texas knows there are times when a custody agreement must be changed, it is stressed that timing is everything with a new school year approaching.
Contact a custody attorney to discuss whether a modification is warranted based on the changes to your circumstance so requests can be filed with enough time to be approved before the end of summer.
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1329 College Avenue, Suite 100
Fort Worth TX 76104
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.