Prior Child Custody, Child Support, and Visitation Modifications

Generally, a person can request a modification of an order if there has been a significant change in the circumstances of the parties or of the child. In Texas, any individual that is affected an existing order may request to modify a prior custody, child support or visitation ruling by filing a petition in the court that previously entered the order concerning the children.

Child Custody

If you are seeking to change custody less than one year after the original order was signed, then the court has special requirements that you must show in a sworn affidavit before the suit can go forward. In the case of an emergency, the timing of the suit is usually not an issue. But in other circumstances, it is probably wise to wait at least one year before you attempt to change custody.

Also, by law, a child 12 years or older has the ability to confer with the Judge regarding where the child wishes to live but this preference is not binding on the court if the Judge doesn’t believe that it is not in the child’s best interests to reside with the preferred parent. Custody issues are extremely complex and you should discuss this matter thoroughly with your attorney.

Child Support

A party may seek a modification in child support and may request an increase or decrease if there has been a substantial change in circumstances of either parties or if the child’s needs have changed. A child support order can be changed if it has been at least three years since the previous order and the new amount calculated under the child support guidelines differs by either 20% or $100.00 from the amount of support currently ordered.

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