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When Should I Request a Child Custody Modification?

Posted on in Child Custody

Houston child custody attorneyChild custody agreements rarely please everyone involved. Divorce requires making lots of compromises, especially in terms of parenting time. While this can be frustrating, an unsatisfactory agreement is not grounds for changing the child custody and parenting plan. However, there are some situations that warrant an adjustment. The purpose of these agreements is to put the child’s best interests above the parents’ opinions, and if the parenting plan no longer reflects that, modifications can be requested.

Reasons to Request Changes

Consistent schedules and routines are beneficial for a child’s sense of stability, which is why courts are hesitant to make adjustments to child custody. The following are instances that can cause the court to consider modifying a divorce order that has been put in place:

  1. Your child may be in danger: It is not uncommon for couples to get divorced due to physical, mental, or emotional abuse or because of their former spouse’s addiction to alcohol or drugs. While many parents try to keep their bad habits away from their children, some fail to do so. The court will evaluate the level of danger that the child may be exposed to by looking at past proof of the parent’s reckless behavior and speaking with the child about his or her home life. A child’s facial features or lack of words can be just as telling as a full testimony, and if the court determines that the child's safety is at risk, the custody arrangements may be changed as necessary.

  2. Either parent relocates: Parenting plans often rely on the physical location of both parents’ homes. With too much distance between the child’s parents, it can make visiting both parents extremely difficult. After divorce, relocating with a child requires court approval in order to adjust the parenting plan and ensure that the move is in the child’s best interests.

  3. Abuse of the visitation schedule: Some parents will fail to respect the parenting plan that was officiated by the court. This is unfair to the child and the parent who are losing time together as a result. If a parent continually refuses to abide by the divorce order, the court may adjust the schedule. This is not uncommon, as many parents find it difficult to follow a schedule; however, these schedules are meant to help both the child and the parents, not hurt one or the other.

  4. Death of one parent: This reason is fairly straightforward and obvious. If one parent dies, especially if they are the primary custodial parent, the custody arrangement will have to be adjusted to reflect that. In the case of the custodial parent’s death, the court will have to determine whether the non-custodial parent is the best person to care for the child.

Contact a Houston, TX Child Custody Modification Lawyer

Many couples unwittingly believe that getting divorced will be the last negotiation made between them. However, living situations change and so do custody arrangements. At The Foray Firm, our attorneys put your child’s needs above your former spouse’s. If you believe that your child custody arrangements should be changed in order to best promote your child’s well-being, contact our Houston post-divorce changes attorneys at 832-919-6400 for legal help with your parenting situation.



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