CHILD CUSTODY MODIFICATION
Frequently, family circumstances change in the years following a divorce, and it becomes necessary or desirable to alter the visitation schedule or the child support. As the children grow, their schedules can change radically, or a parent may be forced to move for employment opportunities, and the visitation schedule or residence restriction may become unworkable. Likewise, a change in income for a party paying child support may require or warrant an adjustment in the amount of child support.
Even if you can agree upon the terms of the new order, it is always best to officially replace the court order with a new agreed order. In the case of adjusting child support, a new order is an absolute necessity, particularly and most importantly to adjust it downward. No verbal or even written agreement to modify child support is enforceable in Texas. Until you file a motion, every due date that passes is another payment that is written in stone and cannot be retroactively modified.
Dennis Fuller provides quality and timely representation to people seeking Post-Divorce Modifications in the Dallas, Texas area. He can assist you in obtaining modifications to:
- Child Support
- Spousal Support (Alimony)
Custodial Parent Relocation
In Texas, courts routinely restrict the area in which a parent may establish a child’s residence to a specific geographic area. If the parent with the right to establish the child’s residence desires or is forced to move for some reason, any residence restriction in the court order should be modified. Modification of this provision may be accomplished by agreement of the parties without a court order, but it is always in the best interest of both parties if such agreements are made in writing. If parents cannot agree on a modification of this provision, the parent desiring to move should plan well in advance and petition the court to lift this restriction. The moving parent will be required to demonstrate to the court why allowing the move will be in the best interest of the child.
Factors Affecting Modification.
The threshold issue for requesting modification of a prior order regarding conservatorship, possession and access, or child support, is whether or not there has been a material and substantial change of circumstance in relation to the child or a parent. Among other things, Texas courts have recognized the following occurrences to be material and substantial changes in circumstance warranting modification of a prior order:
- Remarriage of a party.
- Arrests and convictions for alcohol, drug and sex related criminal offenses.
- Refusing to Allow Possession.
- Failure to timely return the children may justify custody modification. Child-snatching shows that the person may be an unfit custodian and the child’s best interest will be protected by the other parent.
- One parent’s negative behavior or use of the child as a pawn may be a material and substantial change of circumstances.
- Parental Alienation
- Acts or omissions which interfere with the child’s ties with the other parent, such as interfering with visitation, may be a material and substantial change in circumstances.
- The moral misconduct of a party, such as a party’s sexual promiscuity, affairs, or living with a member of the opposite sex out of wedlock may constitute a material and substantial change.
- Being convicted of a crime or subjecting the child to the influence of persons involved in criminal activities may be considered a material and substantial change in circumstances.
- The use of illegal drugs by a parent is a material and substantial change. The court may order a parent to submit to drug tests if there is sufficient evidence to place the matter in controversy.
- The physical, mental, or sexual abuse of a child is a material and substantial change in circumstances
Discuss custody issues with Dennis Fuller. Mr. Fuller provides quality family law representation to his clients in all areas of North Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, McKinney, Frisco, Richardson, Addison, Plano, and throughout Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties, Texas. To speak with Dennis Fuller about your legal concerns, contact us at 972-852-8500 to schedule an appointment today.