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Modifying Custody And Support Agreements As Circumstances Change

For a variety of reasons, parents choose to file petitions to modify arrangements that were agreed to at the time of the divorce. It is normal for your children and family to outgrow a court order that was rendered years ago. Maybe when your children were little, it made sense for them to live one week with you and one with their other parent. But now, the children are in school and the arrangement is not working. Perhaps when you initially finalized things, your spouse did not earn as much and now they have been promoted. Conversely, you may have lost your high-paying job and now have less money to pay child support.

Modification Of Child Support

The court may modify an order that provides for child support, including for medical support, if one of the following has occurred:

  • The circumstances of the child or a person affected by the order to be modified have materially and substantially changed since the date of the order’s most recent rendition.
  • It has been three years since the order was rendered or last modified, and the monthly amount of the child support award under the order differs by either 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines.

Modification Of Conservatorship Or Possession And Access

The court may modify an order that provides for the appointment of a conservator, the terms and conditions of conservatorship, or possession or access if the modification would be in the best interest of the child and one of the following has occurred:

  • The circumstances of the child, a conservator or other party affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the date of the most recent rendition of the order.
  • The child is at least 12 years of age and has expressed to the court in chambers, as provided by the Family Code, the name of the person who is the child’s preference to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.
  • The conservator who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child has voluntarily relinquished the primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least six months.

In addition to the above, if a suit seeking to modify the designation of the person having the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child is filed within one year after the date of the most recent rendition of the order, the person filing the suit must execute and attach an affidavit that contains, along with supporting facts, at least one of the following allegations:

  • The child’s present environment may endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development.
  • The person who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child is the person seeking or consenting to the modification, and the modification is in the best interests of the child.
  • The person who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child has voluntarily relinquished the primary care and possession of the child for at least six months, and the modification is in the best interests of the child.

Contact Fayez Law Group, PLLC

If you want to modify the arrangements you agreed to when you got divorced, attorney Hatemleh can help. Call 713-714-0029 or fill out the online contact form to set up a consultation.