It can take weeks of negotiations or multiple days in court to create a parenting plan or custody order that works for your family. You need to divide parenting time and decision-making authority while addressing the daily needs of your children.
Typically, parents should abide by the terms in their custody order and cooperate to do what is best for their children. However, there are certain scenarios in which parents may need to change custody orders.
Texas state law permits parents to request formal modifications of the existing parenting plan so that it works better for the family and minimizes last-minute changes and the conflicts those changes often create. When will a Texas family law judge potentially grant you a modification?
When the family’s schedules change
The school that your children attend and the job that you work have a direct influence on your schedule. When there are major changes for the parents or children, the division of parenting time may have to change as well.
If you moved from a third-shift job to a first shift job, you may be able to have more time with your children overall. If your children start working part-time jobs or participating in sports, you may need to rework your custody order so that your schedule accommodates those demands on their time.
When living arrangements change
Maybe you and your new partner are expecting a child. Perhaps your ex just moved into a new house. When family living arrangements change, the division of parenting time and the schedule that you keep may need to change as well.
A longer drive between houses and new family members can impact the best way for divorced or separated parents to share parenting responsibilities.
When you believe your children are not safe
Not everyone is responsible or patient enough to manage the obligations of parenting on their own. If your ex brings the children back without feeding them for an entire day or with bruises that the children claim come from acts of physical violence, you may need to intervene to protect your children.
The courts may reduce your ex’s parenting time if they are the one neglecting or abusing the children or add the first right of refusal to your custody order so that they can no longer leave your children with a dangerous or abusive romantic interest or family member.
As with any custody matter, what is best for the children will be the primary consideration when a judge rules on your modification request. Learning about the rules that govern child custody will make you a better advocate for your children.